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The city of Topeka hires an internal investigator

TOPEKA (KSNT) — The City of Topeka announced it hired an internal investigator on Monday.

Gretchen Spiker, a spokeswoman for the city of Topeka, reports that Alicia Guerrero-Chavez has been hired to fill the role of internal investigator. This will be an expansion of what used to be the Independent Police Auditor position.

Guerrero-Chavez’s role is to investigate internal and external complaints relating to all city departments, employees and services along with police related matters.

“With this position, we will be able to improve city surveys more broadly as a whole, enabling us to ensure that we are serving our community and our employees at the level they deserve,” said Stephen Wade, City Manager of Topeka. “Alicia comes to the City of Topeka with extensive knowledge and experience in this industry and we are delighted to have her on board.”

Guerrero-Chavez has ten years of experience in investigative work, along with experience in risk management, according to Spiker. He holds a J.D. from Washburn University School of Law and a BA from Kansas State University. Guerrero-Chavez is a Topeka Topeka “Top 20 Under 40” Honoree and is active with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish.

To contact the Office of the Internal Investigator, send an email to [email protected] or call 785-368-3763. The office is located in the town hall.

The Office of the Independent Police Auditor (IPA) was created to oversee the investigations of the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) of citizen complaints related to alleged misconduct and/or improper service by the city police and all reports of use of force, according to the City of Topeka’s website. The goal of this type of civilian oversight is to build trust and transparency in the reporting process. The auditor independently reviews investigations conducted by PSU to determine whether the investigation was complete, thorough, objective and fair.

Former City Manager Brent Trout announced in 2019 that he had cleared the creation of the Independent Police Auditor.

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