Monday, November 30, 2009

Stopping shoplifters

Welcome back after this long Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you and your family had a wonderful time. Maybe you checked out some of the sales retailers had to offer. As this busy shopping season gets underway, it's hard to avoid one common crime: shoplifting. Perhaps you saw the piece KCTV 5 did on the cost of shoplifting last week. If not, catch it here. We had an incident very much like this earlier this year that involved habitual shoplifters who sold their stolen goods online. The detectives and officers who stopped these thieves were honored last week with Special Unit Citations, and I want to tell you about the good work they did:

It all started with a call to the North Patrol Division station on February 5, 2009, from the loss prevention officer of the Target store on Skyview. Civilian Clerk Karen Smith answered the call and learned that a man and woman had just stolen a large amount of merchandise from both the Skyview Target and the Target in the 9200 block of Northeast Barry Road. In both instances, the couple loaded a cart or two with baby strollers, playpens and other items and left the store without paying for them.

The loss prevention officer told Civilian Smith that one of his employees had followed the suspect’s blue minivan to a home in Liberty, Missouri. Civilian Smith immediately informed Detective Mark Cassady about this, and he and Sergeant Damon Hayes enlisted the help of the officers of the 450 Sector. Sergeant Edward Lamport coordinated surveillance of the residence. Officers Cristin Stammler, Thomas Bethel and Stacey Taylor went to the Liberty home where the Target employee had followed the thieves.

The officers saw a man and woman who matched the suspects’ descriptions come out of the house and get into their van. Officer Taylor stayed at the residence while Officers Stamler and Bethel stopped the car a few miles away. Several items stolen from Target were in plain view in the van. Sergeant Hayes, Detective Cassady and Detective Darren Wilson took a statement from the Target employee and got a probable cause statement for a search warrant of the suspects’ house.

All of the afore-mentioned officers as well as Detective Randall Rund searched the home. They found 66 items stolen from Target worth more than $5,400. Both suspects said they had been stealing for several months and selling the items on the Internet.

When charges came down in both Platte and Clay counties on March 3, 2009, 450 sector officers arrested the suspects. Target management sent a letter to police praising them for their quick response, continued pursuit of charges and the recovery of thousands of dollars in merchandise.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Highlights of yesterday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting

Highlights of the November 24 Board of Police Commissioners Meeting:

• Eric Bosch, director of the Capital Improvements Management Office, presented photos of the ongoing construction at the new Metro Patrol Division and said the anticipated opening date would probably be in late May or early June 2010. He also presented drawings of buildings planned for the new South Patrol and Special Operations divisions.

• City Councilman John Sharp, vice chair of the Council’s Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee, asked the department to consider joining the city’s self insurance plan.

He also asked Chief Corwin to consider committing police department members to the city’s new committee to review dress code issues and compliance at the Power and Light District, as opposed to participating in the committee sponsored by Power and Light owner Cordish, which would be tasked with the same thing. Chief Corwin said he had spoken with Cordish President Zed Smith and thought it would be inappropriate for police to enforce corporate policies on either committee. He said the department is tasked with enforcing only ordinances, statutes and laws, not private policies. If police had to arrest Power and Light employees for violating city dress code ordinances, they could face a conflict of interest if police also served on the committee that oversaw the dress code. Two Commissioners also expressed concern about separation of powers and conflicts of interest. Chief Corwin said that while he has not yet made his decision, he is leaning toward not having police participate on either the City’s or Cordish’s dress code committee.

• Deputy Chief Kevin Masters reported that the Cold Case Squad is re-investigating the death of Charles McNeil, which was originally ruled a suicide. McNeil’s family requested a new investigation at the October Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

• Chief Corwin reported that from 2005 to present, total Part 1 crimes (homicide, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, stealing, auto theft and arson) in Kansas City have fallen 20 percent.

• Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said the department and public are beginning to feel the effects of fewer officers on the street due to budget cuts. From July to September 2009, median response times have risen from 5.85 minutes to 6.19 minutes, despite July having a higher number of calls for service than September. D.C. Ritter cited the following reasons why:
- Because of staffing shortages in the Headquarters Detention Unit, there are no longer civilian detention officers at any of the six patrol divisions. Police officers must now serve as detention officers.
- Only three of the six stations’ detention units are open at any one time, causing police to have to drive further and spend more time out of service to drop off arrests.
- Just as the hiring freeze has not allowed the department to hire any more civilian detention officers, it has prevented the hiring of any desk clerks for the stations. Several of those positions are now vacant and must be filled by officers who would normally be on the streets.

Chief Corwin said a recent “Right-Sizing Committee” had just surveyed and reviewed the job duties of all the department’s civilian employees to determine where the most critical needs were. When the recommendations are released, some civilian employees will be transferred to different jobs to fill the most critical spots, and others will take on the duties of two positions. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple said no one will lose their job or take a pay cut through this initiative.

• D.C. Ritter said the National Catholic Youth Conference – which brought 22,000 high school students and 4,000 adults to downtown Kansas City last weekend – went off without any major incident. He said that was largely the result of 18 months of planning for the event by Captain Rick Smith. Many of the attendees praised and thanked police for their work.

• Major Patty Higgins and Captain James Connelly presented all the accomplishments of the Blue Project, which began in 2006 with an outside audit of the department’s practices. That audit had more than 230 recommendations, and they were broken up into eight task forces composed of more than 200 department members for completion. Those task forces have now finished their work, and the department has met its goals of increasing satisfaction scores on the City’s Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Medals of Valor

For the second time this year, I presented the department's highest honor to three very brave officers: (from left to right above) Travis Hennegin, Michael Merino and Brandon Pegg. Here's what they did:

At about 5 p.m. July 8, 2008, a car struck a tree at Oldham and Hillcrest roads in Swope Park. An off-duty officer in plain clothes went to see if she could help, only to be met by a 55-year-old man standing outside the wrecked sedan holding an assault rifle. She pointed her handgun at him and ordered him to drop his rifle.

Instead, the man took off southeast down Oldham, and he fired at at least three cars driving through the park. Fortunately, no one in the cars was hit, though all three vehicles had been struck by bullets. The off-duty officer called for back-up. Officers Travis Hennegin and Brandon Pegg soon arrived in one car, and Officer Michael Merino in another. They knew the man was shooting at random vehicles and that they could be putting themselves in the line of fire. When they got to the scene, they saw the suspect walking in the middle of Oldham with his gun.

Officers Hennegin and Pegg got out and took cover behind some trees. Officer Merino arrived and took cover west of them, being careful to avoid any potential crossfire situations. The officers converged on the suspect and ordered him to drop his weapon. After telling him to drop the gun several times, the suspect turned and fired a shot at Officer Hennegin. The bullet barely missed Officer Hennegin’s head and instead struck a tree he used for cover. All three officers immediately fired back at the suspect, fatally wounding him.

Sergeant John Blomquist said, “All three officers acted immediately and without hesitation when they were aware of an imminent threat of personal danger. They risked their lives knowing the suspect was armed and was an active shooter.”
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Agenda for tomorrow's Board of Police Commissioners meeting

Board of Police Commissioners Meeting
Agenda – Tuesday, November 24, 2009

9:00 a.m. – 6th Floor, Board Room

1. Call to Order – Invocation – Rabbi Herbert Mandl.

2. Awards and Commendations.

Special Unit Citation
North Patrol Division/North Patrol Property Crimes Section

Special Unit Citation
Crime Free Multi-Housing Officers

Life-Saving Award
Officer Shawn Davis
Officer Rita Olson-Stawicki

Distinguished Service Medal
Officer Travis Stuteville

Medals of Valor
Officer Travis Hennegin
Officer Michael Merino
Officer Brandon Pegg

3. Legislative Update.
Mr. Andy Arnold
Mr. Woody Cozad
Mr. Jewell Patek
Mr. Ward Cook

4. Mr. Gary White, City Auditor.

a. Monthly Status Report.
b. General Discussion.

5. Councilwoman Cathy Jolly - Committee on Public Safety and Neighborhoods.

6. CIMO Report.
Mr. Eric Bosch

7. Ms. I. Pearl Fain – Office of Community Complaints.

a. General Discussion.

8. Chief James Corwin .
a. Public Safety Sales Tax Renewal.
b. General Discussion.

9. Deputy Chief Nick Nichols – Executive Officer.

a. Monthly Report OCC Investigations.
b. General Discussion.

10. Deputy Chief Cyril Ritter – Patrol Bureau.

a. Crime Summary
b. Performance Report.
c. General Discussion.

11. Deputy Chief Kevin Masters – Investigations Bureau.
a. Arrest Summary.
b. General Discussion.

12. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau.
a. Personnel Summary.
b. General Discussion.

13. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte´ – Executive Services Bureau.
a. Police Package Motorcycles, Bid No. 2010-7.
b. Renewal of Audit Services, Bid No. 2008-11.
c. Cooperative Procurement Office Supply Contract Renewal.
d. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
e. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
f. New South Patrol 1% for Art Project.
g. Budget Summary Report for October.
h. Jail Consolidation.

14. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. Project #380, Revision of Procedural Instruction 05-01, Use of Department and Private Vehicles.
b. Blueprint Project Presentation.
c. General Discussion.

15. Ms. Lisa S. Morris, Office of General Counsel.

16. Public Comments*

17. Scheduled Meetings:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Thursday, December 10, 2009
Friday, January 8, 2010
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

18. Ms. Mischa Buford Epps.

19. Chief James Corwin.

20. Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

21. Commissioner Patrick McInerney

22. Commissioner James B. Wilson.

23. Commissioner Karl Zobrist.

24. Commissioner Mark C. Thompson.

25. Motion to go into Closed Session.

26. Informational Items:
a. Revision of Procedural Instructions: Project #26, Offense Reporting; Project #132, Report Control; Project #191, Field Interview Form and Registration of Convicted Sex Offenders.
b. Project #367, Proposed Procedural Instruction, Operational Plans/Performance Measuring System.
c. Project #314, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Detaining and Questioning Persons, Arrest, Search and Seizure.
d. Project #223, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Execution of Search Warrants. e. IROBOT Equipment Received from MARC.
f. ASCLD/LAB® Inspection Report.
g. October 2009 News Coverage.
h. Funding Gap Elimination Implementation Timeline.
i. Recovery Act Grant Summary.
j. Status of Public Safety Sales Tax at the end of October.
k. KCPD Grant Summary 11/10/09.
l. Donated Property Summary Report.
m. Press Release 11/16/09: Kansas City Live! Announces a Dress Code Oversight Board.
n. Women’s Personal Safety Seminar.
o. Academy Campus Actual Usage for October 2009.

*The Board will hear Public Comments between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. unless other matters are required to be considered at that time. Anyone wanting to speak during the Public Comment portion of the meeting is requested to sign in on the “Public Comment Sign-In Sheet” located at the Board room entrance. The Board will hear from members of the public in the order in which they sign the “Public Comment Sign-In Sheet.”

Men charged in death of grocer during robbery

At about 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, police were called to Abarottes Grocery in the 3400 block of East 12th Street regarding a robbery. Upon arrival, officers were informed that two suspects (black males wearing dark hoodies) robbed the business at gunpoint and fled on foot. An employee and his brother chased the suspects, resulting in the employee getting shot near 12th and Bales. He was transported by ambulance to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Wilfredo M. Melgar of Kansas City, Mo.

The brother continued chasing the suspects and observed them enter an apartment building in the 3200 block of East 11th Street. An Operation 100 was called, with police surrounding the building. At about 2:30 p.m., the suspects exited the basement and surrendered to police.

The suspects, pictured above, are 18-year-old Travis L. Knott, top photo, and 20-year-old Clifford V. Jackson, bottom photo, both of Kansas City, Mo. Both have now been charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. Their bond is set at $250,000 each.

Pregnant woman killed on Armour Blvd. identified

UPDATE: The medical examiner has determined Ms. Thomas' baby was viable outside the womb, therefore the killing counts as two homicides. Two men have been charged in their deaths: 25-year-old Lionel Henderson and 24-year-old Calvin Boswell.

At 5:18 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, officers were called to the 1300 block of East Armour Boulevard to investigate a shooting. When they arrived, they found a male (driver side) and a female (front passenger seat) sitting in a car in front of an apartment building. The male and female had both been shot. The female was transported to an area hospital, where she was pronounced dead. She has been identified as 25-year-old Ashley D. Thomas of Kansas City, Mo. Thomas was reportedly 9 months pregnant, and medical staff were not able to save the unborn child. The male was transported to an area hospital, and he remains in critical condition. He is in his late teens to early 20's.

A witness reported seeing two males running northeast from the vehicle after the shooting.

Until the medical examiner makes a ruling on the viability of the fetus, only Ashley Thomas' death will be counted as a homicide at this time.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Friday, November 20, 2009

Second Prescription Take Back event tomorrow


In an effort to combat prescription drug abuse, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department and Northland Coalition are sponsoring a Prescription Take Back event.

At this event, residents can clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in old and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. The Prescription Take Back will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 21 at 8690 N. Dixson Ave., Zona Rosa Community Area (below Marshall’s)

Reports from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reveal that prescription drugs are second only to marijuana as the illegal drug choice of teens seeking to get high. According to the ONDCP Web site, another cause for alarm is that young people, who see the prescription drugs as safer than other substances, are not just getting them from street dealers. More likely, they are securing them from close friends and unknowing family members.

In addition to these concerns, improper disposal of prescription drugs can pollute water systems and endanger the community. To address this growing area of concern locally, Kansas City Police and volunteers of the Northland Coalition are partnering to host the Prescription Take Back events.

“Prescriptions are now the major cause of fatal drug overdoses,” said Prevention Services Manager Vicky Ward of Tri-County Mental Health Services, the administrative support for the Northland Coalition. “In fact, that number has tripled from 1999, even overtaking overdoses from heroin and cocaine.”

Ward said one in five teens has abused prescription drugs, often easily obtained from their own home medicine cabinet. Since the Northland Coalition’s mission is to eradicate substance abuse, thereby improving the safety and livability of the Northland communities, Ward said partnering with KCPD for the Take Back events made sense.

“We want to prevent narcotics from finding their way out to the street to adversely affect the community,” said Officer Dan Watts of the North Patrol Division. “By partnering with the Northland Coalition to sponsor these Take Back events, we hope to raise awareness of the harm done through prescription abuse and misuse.”

Persons of interest in Nov. 4 homicide

Detectives need your help in identifying persons of interest in the homicide that occurred on Nov. 4, 2009, in the 11600 block of Holiday Drive in Kansas City Missouri. The victim was 20-year-old Maurice West. These individuals were observed in a convenience store near the scene of murder about one hour before the murder.

Anyone who knows the identity of these persons is urged to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Property auctions

Did you know that KCPD auctions unclaimed property online? We do so through This site contains unclaimed property not only from Kansas City, but from police departments all over the country. It functions much like E-Bay, with an online bidding system. Check it out!

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

KCPD invites church leaders to forum tomorrow morning


Kansas City Missouri Police are engaging area church leaders to reduce crime and increase quality of life in the community.

The Faith-Based Community and Police Forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 19 in the auditorium of the Kansas City Regional Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road. KCPD Chaplains and leaders of the Community Justice Program Unit of the City Manager’s Office also will be present at the Forum.

The Faith-Based Community and Police Forum is part of Chief James Corwin’s plan to address crime in the community holistically.

“As police, we can’t arrest our way out of every problem,” Chief Corwin said. “We need to partner with community members who can bring about societal change, and the faith-based community has the power to do that.”

The Forum aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. It also will try to bring about a better understanding of impediments to communication, trust and partnerships between the two. It further will try to build on current successful initiatives.

After the Forum, church leaders will be invited to meet with Police Department division commanders and staff to discuss issues in their neighborhood, ideas for programs or set up future meeting times.

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Woman found dead Monday night identified

At 9:49 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, officers were called to 6th and Monroe (the Apple Market) to meet a male with information about a murder. When officers arrived, the male caller took them to an apartment building in the 3700 block of Roberts where the officers discovered the body of a dead female outside the building. The victime has been identified as 27-year-old Lisa M. McGuire of Versailles, Mo. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

What we can learn from the Harlem Children's Zone

I spent Nov. 8 through 10 in one of the toughest neighborhoods in New York City, learning about a program that is showing a lot of promise in changing the lives of impoverished children. The Harlem Children’s Zone is an innovative program that serves children from the womb (prenatal care) to college, and it’s something we’d like to replicate here in Kansas City.

I went with Mayor Mark Funkhouser and Kansas City School District Superintendent John Covington. We attended a conference that spelled out how the Harlem Children’s Zone works and what its results have been. This Washington Post article does a great job of explaining some of that. Representatives of cities from all over the country attended the conference, each vying to be one of 20 selected to receive federal funding to start similar programs of their own, as mentioned in the Post article.

As far as I know, I was the only police chief there. But to me, it makes perfect sense to have law enforcement as part of this initiative. Since I became Chief of Police, I have advocated a holistic, five-prong partnership approach to reducing crime and improving quality of life in this community. Education is one of those five prongs, and a very important one. (The others are partnerships with businesses, faith-based organizations, nonprofit groups and neighborhoods.) I think early childhood education, in particular, could make a world of difference in the poverty-stricken and crime-ridden neighborhoods of Kansas City.

Children’s education and public safety have for too long been in their own separate silos. They are, in fact, extremely interrelated. If we can spend our resources on educating kids, we don’t have to go arresting and locking up kids. I have felt this way for a long time, which is why I have served on the board of directors of a local charter school and currently sit on the Mid-America Regional Council’s Early Childhood Development Board and on the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America’s Heart of America Council.

I am confident that a program like the Harlem Children’s Zone will work in Kansas City. We have many of the pieces in place already; we just need to get them connected and working together.

If selected for the federal funding to start such a program, our “Harlem” would be the 64127 ZIP code. The plan is now being referred to as “Zone 2-7: Anchor of Hope.” You can read more about it here. 64127 is one of the poorest parts of the city, with an average household income of $21,868, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which is about $35,000 below the national average. It’s bounded by 9th Street on the north, Topping Avenue on the east, 27th Street on the south and Woodland on the west.

High-quality education is our best hope of breaking the cycle of generational poverty and violence that haunt the 64127 area and others like it. While we’d love to get a grant to replicate Harlem’s program here, we must be committed to working together – police, schools, politicians, parents, churches, social services and businesses – to provide as much opportunity for Kansas City children as possible, no matter what. They will either be our future leaders or our future criminals. I’m sure hoping for the former.

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

KCPD gets Ben Roethlisberger grant to buy a new patrol dog

UPDATE: The grant is in the amount of $8,000.


Pittsburgh Steelers’ Super Bowl Champion Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger announced today the fifth grant in the 2009 grant cycle of the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation at The Giving Back Fund. The grant will be distributed to the Kansas City Police Department in Kansas City, Missouri. The department is seeking financial assistance for the purchase of one new canine that will be purchased to replace retiring canines at the end of this year.

This NFL season The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation is distributing grants to Police and Fire Departments in Pittsburgh and in the cities and surrounding communities of each regular season away opponent for the Steelers in 2009. The Chiefs play the Steelers this Sunday. The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has invited police and fire departments in the eight cities to submit proposals detailing their needs.

“We are thrilled to receive this grant, especially because of how tight our budget is this year” Chief James Corwin said. “This money will be used to replace Rambo, one of our canines who will be retiring because of arthritis. The police department can now keep our Canine Section fully staffed, which is critical to our patrol operations.”

In commenting on why the mission of the foundation is so important to him, Roethlisberger said, “It is an honor and a privilege to work with police and fire departments in and around the Pittsburgh area as well as with others around the country. We have had the opportunity to see first-hand how important the dogs are to these men and women who risk their lives every day to protect us. It’s incredible to see the strong bond that is formed between the dogs and their partners both on the job and at home. ”

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation seeks to provide support for police and fire departments throughout the US and to enhance the quality of life for residents of Findlay, OH and Pittsburgh, PA.

For more information about the Ben Roethlisberger Foundation or The Giving Back Fund, visit or

Monday, November 16, 2009

Man who assaulted officers this morning (11/16) is charged

At about 1:30 a.m. today, Nov. 16, officers stopped a car at Anderson and Wheeling. The driver fled on foot, and officers pursued him. The driver then ran back to his car and attempted to strike one of the officers with his vehicle. The officer fired shots at the suspect. The suspect vehicle continued to Independence and Wilson, where officers were out of their cars. The suspect again drove his car at officers in an attempt to strike them. Officers fired shots at the suspect. The suspect continued east on Independence Ave. until his car was disabled at Independence Ave. and Manchester. The suspect was taken into custody.

He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

The suspect has been identified as 25-year-old John I. Battaglia of Kansas City, Mo. He is charged with assault of a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. His bond is $250,000 cash.

No officers were injured in the incident.

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Woman found shot at 11th and Van Brunt dies

At about 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14, officers were dispatched to 11th and Van Brunt on an ambulance call. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital, where she died several hours later.

The victim has been identified as 27-year-old Amber Khan.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Police identify woman found dead in 1200 block of Askew

At 7:11 a.m. yesterday, Nov. 12, officers were called to the 1200 block of Askew to investigate a possible dead body. When the officers arrived at the house, they contacted two children (12 and 9 years old) who found their mother unresponsive inside the home. When the officers checked the woman for signs of life, they discovered she was dead. Her death is being investigated as suspicious as there were signs of foul play.

The woman has been identified as 49-year-old Halimo Ahmed of Kansas City, Mo. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

South KC will be home to new police hub

Another article from our latest Informant newsletter discusses plans for a new police complex in the southern part of the city. To see more pictures, go to and scroll down to the bottom where it says "Watch our progress":

Twenty-five acres of land at Bannister Road and Marion Park Drive in South Kansas City will soon be home to multiple police operations and buildings.

The site will be home to the new South Patrol Division, but it also will house the new Special Operations Division, a new helicopter hangar, a multipurpose building, and possibly a property and evidence warehouse and a new, division-level building like a Crime Lab.
Major Jerry Gallagher, commander of the Facilities Management Division, said there were several reasons to put so many buildings on one site.

“One is the converging interstate system provides ready access,” he said. “And two, it’s just the opportunity of economies of scale. We can do more for less.”

The new South Patrol Division, Special Operations Division and multipurpose structures are being funded through the current quarter-cent public safety sales tax. That tax will sunset in 2011. The construction of another division-level building and property and evidence warehouse depends on whether voters choose to renew the tax.

Capital Improvements is moving forward with a design that would combine the South Patrol Division and Special Operations Division into one building. Major Gallagher said cost wasn’t the only factor in the decision to put the two together.

“The security of that police omnipresence will allow us to locate additional police facilities there in the future,” he said.
The multipurpose building would offer a place for department personnel to get physically fit with a full gym and aerobics and weight rooms.

“We’ve got great workout facilities at the Academy up north, and we wanted to offer something similar down south,” Officer Rhonda Schulte said.

But it will be much more than that. It will contain a briefing room for the Special Operations Division. A full-size basketball court will be designed with sliding doors to become part of the briefing room. The gym even could be a temporary shelter for residents in the event of a disaster.

The multipurpose building also will house the Bomb and Arson Unit, Canine Section, Retirement Office and be a satellite location for the Kansas City Police Credit Union. And it’s being designed to accommodate the mass dispensing of vaccines in the event of a pandemic.

Officers with KCPD’s Capital Improvements Unit met several times the past few months with architects, civil engineers, landscape architects and leaders of the City’s Capital Improvements Management Office to brainstorm the best layout of buildings on the triangular site. They’ve settled on a site plan that would have the SPD/SOD building facing the multipurpose building on a looped roadway. The helicopter hanger would be on an offshoot to the south. The site plan includes a Crime Lab and Property and Evidence warehouse on the loop, too, with parking in the middle.
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Utility scam

Scammers just aren't letting up on area residents. Last month, we warned you of a scam in which crooks called people and claimed they worked for the Kansas City, Mo., Water Department. The scammers say the residents either didn’t sign their checks or didn’t pay their bill at all and will be charged a hefty fee unless payment is made over the phone. The scammer then asks for a credit or debit card number to satisfy the amount due.

Now, scammers are claiming to be from other utility companies, including Missouri Gas Energy. Once they get account numbers, they make fraudulent transactions on the accounts.

Utility companies DO NOT call customers asking for payment information by phone. Never give out your personal or financial information to someone who initiates contact with you. If you believe you are a victim of this scam, call police, and do the following:

* Notify your financial institutions.
* Notify the three major credit bureaus.
* Obtain copies of your bank and/or credit statements to see if any fraudulent activity has taken place.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Victim of homicide in 3100 block of E. 12th identified

At about 1:56 a.m. today, Nov. 11, officers were called to the 3000 block of Peery on a shooting. A male was on a front porch of a house stating he and his friend had been shot. The victim was immediately transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. Officers responding to the area began to conduct an area canvass in search of another victim.

Just minutes later, at approximately 2:07 a.m., officers were called to the 3100 block of E. 12th St. on a shooting victim who was lying in a backyard. Officers already in the area located a male lying in the backyard suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 23-year-old Jonathan Conklin of Kansas City, Mo.

Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

One dead in construction accident at new performing arts center

NOV. 12 UPDATE: The man who was killed has been identified as 35-year-old Ryan Goodman of Lee's Summit, Mo. The other accident victim is 30-year-old Shane Wagener of Grain Valley, Mo. He is in serious but stable condition at a local hospital.

Police today were called to 16th and Broadway at 1:45 p.m. today to investigate an industrial accident at the site of the KC Performing Arts Center. When the officers arrived, they found two men who were injured after a lift failed. The men were up in the lift, and it either fell or collapsed. Both men were transported to area hospitals, and one of the men has died. The other man is being treated for his injuries.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Woman killed in 6600 block of Benton identified

At about 10 p.m. Sunday, November 8, police were called to the 6600 block of South Benton in regard to a vehicle parked in the middle of the roadway. Upon arrival, officers located a Dodge minivan parked in the middle of the street and an unresponsive female in the driver seat. Further investigation revealed the woman to be deceased from an apparent gunshot wound. She has been identified as 38-year-old Yolanda M. Walker of Kansas City. Police are still searching for a suspect, so if you have any information, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Police crack down on crosswalk violators Downtown Nov. 9-13

NOV. 10 UPDATE: In their first day of enforcement, police issued 122 tickets to motorists who failed to yield to pedestrians and 11 tickets for other traffic violations. These tickets were written in the Crossroads and Rivermarket areas and on Broadway between Linwood and Westport Road.


A spike of crashes involving pedestrians in 2009 is prompting Kansas City Police to carry out a Crosswalk Crackdown November 9 to 13.

Through Oct. 28, 2009, 10 pedestrians in Kansas City have been killed by vehicles, and another 165 have been injured. And in a few weeks – Nov. 19-21 – more than 20,000 additional pedestrians will be Downtown for the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC). At the 2007 NCYC convention in Columbus, Ohio, a 16-year-old pedestrian was struck and killed on her way back to her hotel.

“We want to do something to raise awareness for pedestrians and motorists,” said Captain Scott Glaeser, commander of the Traffic Enforcement Unit.

So Nov. 9 through 13, police will be cracking down on those who violate crosswalk laws with extra police officers around Downtown – many of them in plain clothes – looking for and ticketing violators. The Crosswalk Crackdown will involve traffic, Central Patrol and Tactical officers. They will target both walkers and drivers breaking the law.

“These ordinances have been enforced before, but we’re putting an increased emphasis on them now because of increased pedestrian accidents and all the new Downtown development,” Captain Glaeser said.

This upcoming Downtown Crosswalk Crackdown will be the first of several, and police will focus on other areas in the future.

Safety tips for pedestrians
• Be predictable. Stay off highways and restricted zones. Use sidewalks where available. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
• Where no sidewalks are provided, it’s usually safer to walk facing traffic.
• Make it easy for drivers to see you – dress in light colors and wear reflective material. At night and in dark areas, carrying a flashlight would be wise.
• Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
• Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely.
• Use extra caution crossing multi-lane, higher-speed streets.

Safety tips for drivers
• Remember that you can encounter a pedestrian anywhere.
• Slow down if you can’t see clearly, like if the weather is bad or at night.
• When entering a crosswalk area, slow down and be prepared to stop.
• Stop for pedestrians in a crosswalk. Stop far enough back so drivers in the other lanes also can see the pedestrian in time to stop.
• Do not overtake or pass other vehicles stopping for pedestrians.
• Watch closely for pedestrians when you make a turn.
• Be especially attentive around schools and in neighborhoods where children are active.

Pictures from Trick or Treat event

Last Saturday, on Halloween, was the fifth annual Safe Trick or Treat Event sponsored by our Shoal Creek Patrol Division and Northland Neighborhoods Inc. It took place at Antioch Center, and a great time was had by all. We got some pictures back, and I wanted to share them.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Residents asked to bring old prescription drugs to take-back event Saturday in Northland

UPDATE: A total of 358 prescription and over-the-counter drugs were turned in Saturday.


In an effort to combat prescription drug abuse, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department and Northland Coalition are sponsoring two Prescription Take Back events.

At these events, residents can clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in old and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. The Prescription Take Backs will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 7 and 21 at the following Kansas City locations:

* Nov. 7 – N.E. 82nd Terrace and N. Ditzler (across from JC Penney near southwest corner of 152 Highway and Flintlock Road)
* Nov. 21 – 8690 N. Dixson Ave., Zona Rosa Community Area (below Marshall’s)

Reports from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) reveal that prescription drugs are second only to marijuana as the illegal drug choice of teens seeking to get high. According to the ONDCP Web site, another cause for alarm is that young people, who see the prescription drugs as safer than other substances, are not just getting them from street dealers. More likely, they are securing them from close friends and unknowing family members.

In addition to these concerns, improper disposal of prescription drugs can pollute water systems and endanger the community. To address this growing area of concern locally, Kansas City Police and volunteers of the Northland Coalition are partnering to host the Prescription Take Back events.

“Prescriptions are now the major cause of fatal drug overdoses,” said Prevention Services Manager Vicky Ward of Tri-County Mental Health Services, the administrative support for the Northland Coalition. “In fact, that number has tripled from 1999, even overtaking overdoses from heroin and cocaine.”

Ward said one in five teens has abused prescription drugs, often easily obtained from their own home medicine cabinet. Since the Northland Coalition’s mission is to eradicate substance abuse, thereby improving the safety and livability of the Northland communities, Ward said partnering with KCPD for the Take Back events made sense.

“We want to prevent narcotics from finding their way out to the street to adversely affect the community,” said Officer Dan Watts of the North Patrol Division. “By partnering with the Northland Coalition to sponsor these Take Back events, we hope to raise awareness of the harm done through prescription abuse and misuse.”

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Homicide victim from 116th and Holiday identified

At about 4 p.m. yesterday, Nov. 4, police were called to 116th Street and Holiday Drive in regard to the sound of gunshots. Upon arrival, a shooting victim was located in the street with no signs of life. He was pronounced dead a short time later. The victim has been identified as 20-year-old Maurice West of Kansas City, Mo.

Witnesses said the victim was walking with another male when two black males approached on foot and shot the victim. The suspects ran north on 116th Street. Police thougth they went to a house on Longview Road and surrounded it for several hours. Police left at about 9 p.m. yesterday. The suspects have not been located, and anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Mr. West's is Kansas City's 96th homicide of 2009, compared to 111 at this point in 2008, and 86 at this point in 2007.

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KCPD welcomes new canines

An article from our newest monthly newsletter highlights the many new canine officers to come to our department in the past few months as we've added a new shift to the Canine Section and a new bomb/accelerant-sniffing dog. Above are Officer Krista Huth and her dog Ero, and Detective Mike Luster and his dog, Derin. Here's their story:

They train using boxes, a padded sleeve and an occasional treat. These are the working dogs of the Canine and Bomb and Arson Sections.

The Canine Section has a total of 12 dogs, up from six earlier in the year before the Section expanded to both an A.M. and P.M. shift. The Section recently added three new dogs and two replacement dogs.

When the Canine Section expanded from one to two shifts in May 2009, they did so to aid officers on the street, said Captain Randall Jacobs, Patrol Support Unit Commander.

“We wanted to increase the service to the district officers,” he said. “We needed narcotics and patrol dogs available during the daytime hours too.”

The new shift means dogs are now available 20 hours a day, twice as much as before.

Officers John Cullen and Scott Nelson said they both left assignments they enjoyed to join the Canine Section. This, they admitted, was an assignment they both had wanted since their days as recruits.

Officer Krista Huth agreed. As the only female in the section, she describes her assignment in Canine as her dream job. All three officers started their new assignments in February 2009, training their new canine partners to be effective narcotics and patrol dogs - dual purpose dogs. Officer Cullen’s dog, Rambo II, and Officer Nelson’s dog, Spyk, are both Belgian Malinois. Officer Huth’s dog, Ero, is a Czech Shepherd.

Sergeant Bill Brown, supervisor of the day shift, began his Canine assignment in August. His first dog, Benno, was returned to the kennel because of serious health problems. Sergeant Brown picked up his new dog, Kazan, in October and works with him daily practicing scent recognition and effective patrol techniques. Kazan is a 17-month-old Belgian Malinois who is very rambunctious but is learning, the sergeant said.

The dogs all learn to track scents and practice bite work by attacking a well-padded sleeve or suit. The padded sleeve offers protection, but the strength of the bite is still apparent even through the sleeve, Officer Cullen said.

All dogs in the Section train to earn their initial certification – usually a six-week process. Each dog re-certifies annually. The dogs train daily with their handlers to recognize a variety of scents, practice bite work, learn to search buildings and locate articles of clothing. The handler must learn to consider a variety of factors when reading the dog’s response, everything from wind to ground dampness.

The handler also must learn the dog’s commands in the language in which he was trained. Some of the dogs respond to German, while others respond to Dutch and Czech.

The Bomb and Arson Section also has a new canine member. Derin, a female black Labrador Retriever, is an accelerant dog that was given to the department by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. She is a graduate of Puppies Behind Bars; a prison program where inmates raise and train the dogs to meet a variety of special needs. Derin’s handler, Detective Mike Luster, trains Derin for an hour twice a day honing her scent recognition skills. Derin is imprinted on 21 different accelerants, Luster says; everything from gasoline to paint thinner. Derin joins Brandy the other accelerant dog in the Bomb and Arson Section. The accelerant dogs also undergo yearly scent recognition recertification.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Spots still available for Nov. 14 Women's Personal Safety Seminar

We still have some spots open for our Women's Personal Safety Seminar coming up from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Nov. 14. Click here for registration information.

The four-hour class focuses on awareness, prevention, streetwise caution and self defense. Kansas City Police Academy instructors and other KCPD officers teach the class, which features hands-on activities and question-and-answer sessions.

Women can register now for either the Nov. 14 or Dec. 12 class. You must be at least 12 years old to participate. The course will run from 8 a.m. to noon on both dates.

The course will cover many topics, including: self defense techniques; identity theft prevention; and safety tips for the home, car, purses, shopping, exercising and more. Women from throughout the Kansas City metro area are invited to participate.

KCPD also welcomes organizations who would be willing to sponsor individual women or groups of women to attend the class. For more information about sponsorships, please contact Captain Chelly Pfeifer at 816-413-3416.

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Man killed at 31st and Prospect on Friday identified

At about 2:51 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30, officers were called to 31st and Prospect to investigate a shooting. Upon arriving, the officers found a male in the parking lot of the shopping center near Cash America Pawn. The man had been shot and was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The man has been identified as 19-year-old Tyler R. Creal of Kansas City, Mo.

A second shooting victim was located at another area hospital at about 3:16 p.m. Friday. Detectives are investigating the possibility these two shooting victims may be related.

A witness reported the victim was chasing two other males through the parking lot. The victim was shooting at the two other males, and the two males were shooting at the victim.

The case is still under investigation, and anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Home security surveys

Did you know that a police officer will come to your house to identify any security vunerabilities you may have and teach you how to fix them? Our Community Interaction Officers always have offered free home security surveys, but we've gotten a lot more interest lately because of some high-profile crimes, like last month's two Waldo-area rapes.

Officers will look for everything from doors that don't lock properly to shrubs that should be trimmed and many other simple things you may never have thought about.

To take advantage of this free service, call your local patrol division (numbers listed below, and here's a map if you're not sure which one you live in), and ask to speak with the Community Interaction Officer. Then tell the officer you'd like for him or her to come do a home security assessment for you.

North Patrol Division: 234-5540
Shoal Creek Patrol Division: 413-3400
Central Patrol Division: 234-5510
East Patrol Division: 234-5530
Metro Patrol Division: 234-5520
South Patrol Division: 234-5550

A lot of our job involves showing up at homes after a crime has occurred. We'd rather go there before one ever happens and prevent it.

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