My fellow Gardner citizens,
Last week, our city experienced a tragic event involving two of our police officers that resulted in the death of one of our residents. While I cannot go into detail about the incident as it is under investigation, I want to
acknowledge the sorrow our city feels for all parties involved. The Johnson County multi-jurisdictional “Officer Involved Shooting Investigation Team” (OISIT) is handling the investigation, as well as the communication to the media and the public, which is customary for these types of events.
The shooting investigation team is an unbiased party comprised of law enforcement personnel from the cities of Olathe, Overland Park, Lenexa, Mission, Shawnee, Merriam, Leawood, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office and the Johnson County District of Attorney’s Office. You will notice the city of Olathe Police Department as the voice of this investigation. They are the lead agency for the OISIT on this particular case. The city of Gardner is supporting OISIT and is providing any details to aid in the investigation. As the investigation progresses, we will share what information we can, as soon as we can.
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Deanne Choate. Deanne lived in Gardner for several years with many friends and family members in the Gardner community. I know she will be missed by all who knew her.
Gardner has an honorable and highly respected law enforcement team that has kept our community one of the safest cities in Kansas. Their job to protect and serve often requires making difficult decisions for the safety of our community and themselves. We currently have four officers out on paid administrative leave, and my thoughts and prayers go out to them and their families.
I ask that you all join me in remembering all these families in your thoughts and prayers. Please be sensitive to them and respect their privacy. Some of them serve us, and others may be your friends and neighbors.
Gardner, this is an unprecedented situation, and we can only pray that we don’t experience such tragedy again. Please don’t forget though, that we remain a safe city. As we move forward, let us remember to stand together and support one another, as a community.