Monday, December 8, 2014

In these times of scrutiny, I'm proud of KCPD members and our city

These have been trying times for relations between law enforcement and the other members of the communities they serve (I say “and other members” because members of law enforcement are part of their communities, too). Police are under greater scrutiny than ever before. In light of that, I’d like to say how proud I am of the members of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. Our employees have exhibited professionalism during the most difficult situations, especially in recent weeks. One great example: on the night of one of the largest protests, when hundreds of people decried police brutality, our officers arranged to have a KCATA bus transport the protesters back to their vehicles. It was cold and dark, and the officers knew the protesters had walked a long way.

KCPD members have continued to show what compassionate and caring individuals they are. In just the past couple of days, local news organizations have reported on how our officers work to ensure hungry children have food to eat and how an officer spent his time on his day off putting in new porch lights for elderly residents in the urban core. And those are just the stories that got reported. Our officers dole out small kindnesses every day that most people will never know. I appreciate everyone on social media and elsewhere who tell me about when they see one of our officers quietly doing a good deed.

This professionalism and compassion among our staff is by no means new. But with the spotlight on law enforcement nowadays, it certainly gives me more confidence than ever that our department is composed of quality people who really strive to achieve our mission: “Protect and serve with professionalism, honor and integrity.”

But I would be remiss not to thank the people of Kansas City, as well. Thank you for your civility. Thank you for letting your thoughts be known in a peaceful manner. Thank you for respecting the rights and property of others. Know that I am listening. I hear your frustration. One of my main goals as chief of police is to improve relationships between KCPD and the rest of the community. We are working toward that every day.

To that end, please come share your thoughts with us at a forum this Saturday. It will be from 9 a.m. to noon at the Palestine Missionary Baptist Church at 3619 E. 35th St. You’ll be able to sit down with the commander of the patrol division in which you live (as well as the Traffic Division commander), hear what’s going on in your area and share any thoughts and concerns you may have.

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