Former Lawrence police chief will lead Law Enforcement Leadership Academy

Thursday, June 13, 2019

LAWRENCE — Former Lawrence Police Chief Tarik Khatib has joined the University of Kansas Public Management Center as the manager of the Law Enforcement Leadership Academy (LELA) program. He will oversee the PMC programs tailored to law enforcement professionals in partnership with the Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center in Hutchinson.

Khatib will be responsible for three core programs: the 300-hour Command School, designed to prepare commanders for executive leadership roles; the 40-hour Supervisor School for frontline supervisors or newly promoted supervisors; and the two-day introduction/foundation to leadership course, which provides either an introduction or update to best management practices or new training based on developing issues in individual communities.

“Developing leaders so they can serve the public the most effective way possible has been a passion of mine,” Khatib said. “It has never been more important for our communities to be served by departments that are well-managed, responsive to needs of the community and have personnel who are up to date on the most current leadership practices. I am excited to be a part of the LELA program and work with our partners at KLETC to ensure Kansas law enforcement training is a model for other states.”

Khatib, born in Beirut Lebanon, has lived in Lawrence since 1985, when he came to KU as a student. He graduated from KU in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He joined the Lawrence Police Department in 1992 as a patrol officer and was promoted through the ranks to chief in 2011. When he retired from the LPD in June 2017, he said it was a good time for change both for himself and for the department.

”We collaboratively improved the department, and I was able to write myself out of the story, leaving room for the next generation of leadership,” Khatib said.

During his tenure as chief, Khatib oversaw the move toward transparency in the department. He led the department in increasing the amount of information available to the public, examined new technologies including body cameras, and it was on his watch the department started the nationally recognized LPD Twitter account. He worked to increase diversity in the recruiting classes and made a priority of mentoring emerging leaders within the department. Shortly before he retired, the Lawrence City Commission approved funding for a new police facility.

PMC Director Deb Miller said Khatib is a great fit for the job.

“Tarik’s experience at all levels of law enforcement, his passion for public service and the value he places on mentoring officers into leadership roles are the qualities we need in this position,” she said. “Tarik’s reputation in the law enforcement community will help the PMC increase that training, and that’s a good thing. Kansas benefits when our police departments are healthy organizations with strong community connections. We are thrilled to have him as a colleague at the PMC.”

The PMC provides professional training for public sector employees at all levels of government and nonprofit agencies. In addition to consulting services, the center runs the Certified Public Manager program, the Emerging Leaders Academy, the Supervisory Leadership Training program and the Law Enforcement Leadership Academy. The PMC works with hundreds of public sector employees or community members a year, and it has experienced a record high level of enrollment and consulting clients in 2019.


Ruth DeWitt, Communications Manager
KU School of Public Affairs and Administration  

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