Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fighting homicides

Since I was sworn in as Chief last month, my No. 1 goal has been to reduce violent crime. That includes solving those crimes and getting the offenders in custody as quickly as possible to prevent retaliation and additional acts of violence. In addition to the Homicide Unit, I have asked several other department elements to respond to homicide scenes, and they have begun to do so. This past weekend, when we experienced six homicides in 10 hours (a body found in a burned house, a double homicide, and a triple homicide), having those extra officers and detectives on-scene paid off.

One of the additional elements now having a representative respond to homicide scenes is the Street Crimes Unit. Their purpose is to gather information so they can assist the Homicide Unit in tracking leads and identifying and pursuing suspects as quickly as possible. They did just that on Friday and Saturday. As a result, with the help of our Career Criminal Squad, the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department and the ATF, they were able to track down and arrest the suspects in the double and triple homicides and are now pursuing other leads on the victim found dead in the burning home.

As I previously noted, following the six homicides, I called in additional officers who weren’t scheduled to work last weekend. It was those members from the aforementioned Street Crimes Unit squads that were out all weekend running down leads and successfully tracked down and arrested the suspects in five of the weekend’s six homicides.

The message I want to send to the citizens of Kansas City is that what we experienced last Friday and Saturday will not be tolerated or accepted as a fact of life in this city. Each incidence of homicide will be treated as a critical incident, and we will commit all the resources necessary to ensure our best chance of success in solving the crime and bringing those responsible to justice.

I want to thank all the officers and detectives who committed their time and efforts to identifying, locating and arresting the two homicide suspects believed to have killed five individuals over the weekend. Your excellent work and commitment to the residents of Kansas City have not gone unnoticed. I also want to thank those individuals who stepped forward and assisted us in identifying and locating the suspects. We will continue to need the assistance and cooperation of the citizens of Kansas City to reach our common goal as one community to significantly reduce violent crime and improve the quality of life for all of our residents.

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