Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt was in southwest Kansas Monday to speak at a police training session in Garden City and to speak to the Rotary Club in Dodge City.
At the Rotary Club, the attorney general briefed the members of the club about the work his office is doing and general law enforcement issues.
Attorney General Schmidt noted that his office is currently experiencing 'a heightened period of activity', making it of importance to visit law enforcement agencies around the state and interact with the public.
According to the attorney general, the constitution of Kansas only has one requirement, that he appear before the state supreme court once every ten years in order to defend the constitutionality of the state's redistricting plan.
"[The state constitution] doesn't say much about your attorney general," he said.
However, he said the laws created by the legislature and signed by the governor create many obligations for him.
The limited budget that the attorney general's office has, forces it to make choices about the areas of crime on which it will focus and expend resources on. "We start with the first thing first," he said.
Attorney General Schmidt's office conducted a survey of its customers in order to determine which areas are in need of help and determines if the given area is a place the office can provide a meaningful contribution to.
"We want to add value, we want to bring something to the team" he said.
Public safety, child safety, consumer protection, and tax-payer protection are among the attorney general's main priorities, he said.
The office has sought to recruit and retain highly qualified prosecutors that are comfortable working in county court rooms located in rural areas. For him, it's important for the organization to have the right people.
The successful prosecution of sex crimes involving children is also very important to the attorney general. The office allocates substantial resources to the prosecution of sex crimes and aims to develop the skills of the prosecutors. Child sex crimes are often difficult to prosecute because usually the only evidence available is the testimony of a young victim. The child victims are often intimidated by the court room setting, the judge (by virtue of his high position), and the prosecutor, the attorney general said.
The general is also responsible for overseeing the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI).
"It is a remarkable public safety organization," he said. But although KBI has been successful, the generals says it still has work to do. "I am not declaring victory," he said. However, the office 'is headed in the right direction'.
The 125 employees at the attorney general's office and the 160 employees of KBI is a sufficient quantity, the attorney general said. "We do a lot with a little."