The Wyandotte District Attorney announced policy changes that will address police misconduct at a press conference June 10.
District Attorney Mark Dupree said he is expanding his Conviction Integrity Unit to also perform investigations of police misconduct complaints and he is also requiring implicit bias training for those in his office.
The first of its kind in Kansas, Dupree formed the Conviction Integrity Unit in 2018, employing an attorney and investigator to investigate claims of wrongful convictions after Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated in 2017 for a double murder that occurred in Wyandotte County in 1994.
Last week, Dupree changed the unit’s name to the Community Integrity Unit. The unit will continue to investigate wrongful convictions, but will expand to investigate community complaints against police.
“You cannot hold people accountable if their acts are hidden from the people,” Dupree said, explaining the unit will provide more accountability of law enforcement to the community.
Dupree has acquired funding to hire three more investigators to staff the Unit and will put in place a hotline in English and Spanish and an email where community members can file a complaint.
“Now is the time for all law enforcement, including the Fraternal Order of Police to join hands with me in doing this analysis of what is wrong and being courageous enough to go against tradition,” Dupree said in the press conference. “Let’s fix it together.”
To address the racism he saw in Wyandotte’s criminal justice system when he first took office, Dupree said the implicit bias training for everyone in his office will take place on July 1.
“For decades we have allowed the culture of the criminal justice system as it was: biased, racist and culturally insensitive,” he said. The Community Integrity Unit and implicit bias training are just two steps Dupree is taking to change that.
Dupree, who is running for re-election Aug. 4, is also launching a Justice 2020 plan to address many specific aspects of criminal justice including bail reform, mass incarceration and reentry efforts in Wyandotte County.