From the City Manager's Desk

January 16, 2018

Bill Cochran named Topeka's Police Chief 

City Manager announced Bill Cochran as the new Police Chief for the City of Topeka on Friday, January 12th. 
Bill Cochran has worked with the Topeka Police Department for thirty one years, starting his service on July 13, 1987. Cochran has worked in several capacities at the Topeka Police Department including: homicide, traffic, patrol, field operations, and criminal investigations. Cochran has been serving as the Interim Police Chief since November 4th. 
Cochran has also served in the Army National Guard from February 1985 until he retired as a First Lieutenant in July of 2005. He was deployed for thirteen months in Iraq from January 2004 to February of 2005. Cochran received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Washburn University in 1987 and his Masters of Business Administration from Friends University in 2010. Cochran is also a graduate of the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety Police Staff and Command School.

New Mayor and City Council sworn in 

The Governing Body held a Swearing In Ceremony during the city council meeting on January 8th. Mayor Michelle De La Isla was sworn in as Mayor. 
New council members sworn in included Mike Padilla, Aaron Mays & Michael Lesser.
Karen Hiller, Tony Emerson and Sylvia Ortiz were also sworn in for another term. 

Stream City Council Meetings on Facebook! 

City Council meetings will now be shown live on Facebook. A Facebook live stream will launch before every meeting and stream the meeting in it's entirety. The meeting can also be streamed on the City4 page on the city's website and can be seen on YouTube. 

 Recent Updates 

  • The Budget and Performance Division met with each department to update goals for 2018. The performance portal will be updated with year-end 2017 measures at
  • For calendar year 2018: 100 property maintenance cases have been opened and 687 inspections have occurred.
  • The Planning Department released the year-end 2017 edition of our Development and Growth Management Report which can be found at

Prison Crews Cleaning up 

Inmate Crews from the Shawnee County Department of Corrections  work with the Neighborhood Relations Department. The Inmate Crews cleaned up this area near the north side of the Kansas Avenue Bridge last week.
The area was used as a homeless camp over the summer, but remained covered because of the trees. Once the leaves fell off, the need for a clean-up was discovered.
The Inmate Crews removed 3 large trailer loads of trash from this site.

Visual Appeal Survey 

The Planning Department launched an on-line Visual Appeal Survey (VAS) as part of a comprehensive update to the City’s sign code and commercial building design standards. This is the first update its kind that would apply to new signs/commercial buildings on a city-wide basis beyond Downtown and historic districts. This survey will help with the City’s goal to enhance Topeka’s quality of place and community aesthetic while also creating a more user friendly sign code for businesses.
You can take the visual appeal survey here:

SeeClickFix App

Thank you for the success of SeeClickFix Topeka, which has officially been launched for one year! Take a look at our 2017 numbers.
So, how do these numbers compare to our previous program E311? In 2017, we had a 90% increase with SeeClickFix from our highest year of ticket requests from E311 with 1,961 requests in 2016. The average monthly request for E311 was 163. Total E311 tickets from 2013-2017 was 5,756, so we are at a 65% improvement of the 5 year total in ONLY 1 year.
SeeClickFix is the City of Topeka's utility to help you report issues around town, such as potholes, downed tree limbs, missing street signs, and other maintenance problems. The FREE SeeClickFix Topeka app is available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
To see a month by month breakdown, go to:

Coming up

  • TPD is having a Chaplain Open House set for January 16th, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. and January 25th, from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.- an effort to recruit more from faith based community.
  • The next Coffee on Your Corner will focus on the upcoming Capital Improvement Plan. It will be Wednesday, January 17th, 10-11 a.m. at Juli’s Coffee at 110 SE 8th Street.
  • January 31st - Neighborhood Improvement Association Neighborhood Leaders Meeting.


Brent Trout 

This weekly report is presented to you from the office of City Manager Brent Trout.
This report was produced through our open data portal. We have several other open data portals to help connect you with the work we do, including portals that let you: