Thursday, December 31, 2009

New KCPD web site launches Jan. 4

We'll be ringing in 2010 with a brand new web site, a preview of which is above. The new site will be easier to navigate, more organized and packed with useful information, resources, and interesting features. We've been working on this since early summer 2009. The new site will have the same address:, and will launch the morning of Jan. 4, 2010.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Man killed in 5900 block of Cypress Place ID'd

At 9:59 p.m. yesterday, Dec. 29, police were called to a residence in the 5900 block of Cypress Place regarding a shooting. Officers found a man inside a house who had been shot and was deceased. That man has been identified as 37-year-old Dwight Gibson of Kansas City, Mo.

About 20 minutes after police found Gibson, a second shooting victim was located at a residence in the 5700 block of Bales. He was transported to a local hospital in serious condition. Investigators believe this second shooting victim also was shot at the house on Cypress Place and fled the scene. No suspects are in custody, and police ask anyone with information about the incident to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Gibson's murder is Kansas City's 110th homicide of 2009, compared to 128 at this time in 2008.

Police seek man last seen @ 63rd & Pennsylvania

UPDATE: As of the morning of Dec. 31, Jeffrey Clouse has returned home safely

Kansas City Police are looking for 35-year-old Jeffrey B. Clouse, a white male who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. Clouse was last seen at about 10 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 63rd Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. He left in his gray, 2006 Hyundai 4-door with Missouri license plate No. HD0E6F saying he was going to Pleasant Hill, Mo. He has not been seen or heard from since, and his family is concerned for his safety. If you know where Jeffrey Clouse is, please call the KCPD Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136 or 911.

Check out progess on the new Metro Patrol Station

Despite the bad weather, construction on our new Metro Patrol Division station is coming right along. The above picture was taken on Monday, and you can watch the daily construction progress by webcam, too. (Though from Dec. 24 to 26, the camera was mostly covered with snow.) The webcam site also has archived pictures, so you can see how far the building has come.

At last week's Board of Police Commissioners Meeting, Eric Bosch, director of the City's Capital Improvements Management Office, reported the new station is completely walled in and heated. Work is under way right now on interior things like plumbing, wiring and drywall. The anticipated opening date for the new station is summer 2010.

The new Metro Patrol Division station is located on the site of the old Fairy Land Park near 75th and Prospect. Its construction is funded by the quarter-cent Public Safety Capital Improvements Sales Tax that Kansas City voters approved in 2002. The new site and building will allow police to respond to citizens' needs more quickly and provide a more workable space for officers.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Police seek man missing since Dec. 26

Kansas City Police are looking for 25-year-old Donnell L. Minton, who hasn't been seen since 1 a.m. Dec. 26. At that time, Minton left 6730 Askew by unknown means. He has since contacted friends and family saying he is suicidal. Donnell is 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs 260 pounds. He is black with black hair and brown eyes. He may be in the area of Swope Park. His family is concerned for his safety, so if you have any information on where Donnell Minton is, please call the Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136 or 911.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Man killed in attempted robbery identified

At 8:38 p.m. yesterday, officers received several calls of a shooting in the area of 35th and Euclid. Officers responded to the area and located two male victims suffering from apparent gunshot wounds in the 3400 block of Euclid. Both victims were transported to local hospitals.

During the investigation it was learned one of the men allegedly attempted to rob the other.

One man died two hours later in the hospital. He has been identified as 31-year-old Reginald Waxter of Kansas City, Mo. Police have determined he was trying to rob the other man when the robbery victim shot at him. It appears the victim and suspect knew each other and charges are not expected as it was likely a case of self defense. The robbery victim was shot in the leg by the homicide victim and is listed in fair condition at a local hospital.

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

Police ask public to stop leaving cars running unattended to avoid theft


Kansas City Police are asking residents to stop leaving their cars running unattended because it makes them an easy target for thieves.

From Nov. 1 to Dec. 18, 2009, one-fifth of cars stolen in the city had been left running unattended. The problem is the worst in the southern part of the city. Nearly 40 percent of stolen cars in the South Patrol Division were taken when they were left running unattended. In Metro Patrol, that number was about 28 percent. KCPD crime analysts believe those numbers are even higher because some victims are too embarrassed to report that they’d left their car running.

The bulk of the thefts happen when drivers leave their car warming up in their driveway, but many have happened at convenience stores. Victims think they can pop quickly into the store but then come out to find the car they left running stolen.

“We’ve come across some thieves who just wait outside convenience stores for someone to go inside and leave their car on,” said Sergeant Keith Ericsson of the East Patrol Property Crimes Section.

Detectives say that locking a running car is no protection from thieves – they can break the window out in seconds. Even newer cars with remote-start options are not safe at the hands of an experienced car thief.

Not only is leaving your car running unattended unwise, it’s illegal. City Ordinance 70-251 prohibits it and makes it punishable by a fine of $43.50.

The following table outlines how many cars have been stolen in each patrol division from Nov. 1 to Dec. 18, 2009, and how many were left running unattended, according to police reports:

South Patrol

Metro Patrol



Shoal Creek Patrol

North Patrol


Total cars stolen 11/1-12/18/09








Cars running unattended








Percent of stolen autos running unattended








Highlights from yesterday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting

Highlights of the Dec. 22, 2009, Board of Police Commissioners Meeting:

• Capt. Rich Lockhart presented the department’s new web site, which will go live Jan. 4, 2010.

• Deputy Chief Cy Ritter reported that there have been 64 traffic fatalities in Kansas City this year compared to 58 at this date in 2008. He noted two disturbing trends:
- The number of passengers in vehicles killed this year is up 80 percent from last year.
- Motorcycle fatalities have increased 63 percent over 2008.

• As of Monday, Dec. 21, D.C. Ritter said police had eliminated the backlog of red light camera violations waiting to be reviewed. At one time, thousands were in queue. Four officers were pulled out of the Traffic Enforcement Unit to review the violations full time. Now that they’re caught up, residents who got violations from the cameras should receive their tickets in the mail much more quickly.

• After nearly two years of work to report crime statistics more accurately, Major Christine Laughlin announced that the State of Missouri has certified KCPD as NIBRS (National Incident-Based Reporting System) Compliant. Kansas City is the first large city in Missouri to achieve this certification. The State has reviewed the department’s last three months of data in the new system and declared it 100 percent accurate.

• Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple explained the work of a recent committee to reassign civilians to fill critical positions like 911 calltakers, report input control and station desk clerks left vacant by a hiring freeze. She said no one took a pay cut or lost their job, but several civilians were transferred, and others will have to take on the duties of two jobs.

• Deputy Chief Darryl Forte said that the department continues to negotiate with the City and Jackson County regarding a regional jail. He said the space in which the entities would like KCPD to move their detention operations lacks the square footage for four interrogation rooms. He said that was a requirement that is not negotiable for the department. KCPD also has yet to be quoted a price on leasing the space, he said. D.C. Forte said the space would only be a temporary location as part of a five-year plan to develop a new, regional jail, and commissioners questioned why the department would put in so much work and money to move detention operations to a short-term location. Chief James Corwin said if detention moves out of Police Headquarters, they need to go to a place that is designed to handle the scope of the operation. The KCPD Detention Unit books and processes 40,000 inmates annually.

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Honoring 45 years of service

If anyone represents the spirit of dedication and commitment to the residents of Kansas City we strive for, it's Buddy Hockett. Today, I presented a ceremonial baton and the Meritorious Service Award to Mr. Hockett, who has served this police department for an astounding 45 years. In fact, we think he's the longest-serving member in the 135-year history of KCPD.

Mr. Hockett joined KCPD as an officer in 1962. By state statute, he had to retire after 30 years of service in 1992. But in 1994, he returned to the department to work as a civilian. Since then, he has worked as a dispatcher, telephone service officer and in the Data Entry Section. Mr. Hockett is the only known person to have worked as a dispatcher as both an officer and a civilian. The position used to be staffed by sworn officers. Mr. Hockett retired from KCPD for the second time on Dec. 18.

I thank Buddy for how much he has given to this police department and this city, and we wish him well in his retirement.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

Agenda for tomorrow's Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

Board of Police Commissioners Meeting
Agenda – Tuesday, December 22, 2009
9:00 a.m. – 6th Floor, Board Room

1. Call to Order – Invocation – Pastor Keith Ratcliffe.

2. Awards and Commendations.

Crisis Intervention Team Award
Captain Joseph Chapman

Life-Saving Awards
Officer Sean Clarke
Officer Michael Schneider
Officer Jacob Shroyer
Officer Nicole Wright

Life-Saving Award
Officer Mark McKenney

Meritorious Service Award
Officer Dennis Coates

Meritorious Service Award
Communications Specialist Buddy Hockett

Medals of Valor
Officer Curtis Coppinger
Officer Detlef Merrill

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

4. Approval of Minutes.
a. November 10, 2009 Business Session.
b. November 24, Board Meeting.

5. Mr. Gary White, City Auditor.

a. Monthly Status Report.
b. General Discussion.

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

7. CIMO Report.
Mr. Eric Bosch

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

a. General Discussion.

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

10. Deputy Chief Nick Nichols – Executive Officer.

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

11. Deputy Chief Cyril Ritter – Patrol Bureau.

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

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

13. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau
a. Request for Proposal No. 2010-5, Workers’ Compensation and Psychological Services.
b. Personnel Summary.
c. Right Sizing Committee Report.
d. General Discussion.

14. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte´ – Executive Services Bureau
a. Modification of the 2009 MCSAP Grant (MO9-KC-01-Z).
b. Bid No. 2010-3, New 2009 or 2010 Model Year DUI Blood Alcohol Test Vehicle.
c. Metro Patrol Division Office Furniture Purchase.
d. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
e. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
f. Budget Summary Report for the Month of November.
g. Crime Lab Advanced Processing Techniques Fee.
h. Jail Consolidation.

15. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. Project #367, Proposed Procedural Instruction, Operational Plans-Performance Measurement System.
b. Project #223, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Execution of Search Warrants. c. Project #314, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Detaining and Questioning Persons, Arrest, Search and Seizure.
d. Project #31, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Police Radio Communications.
e. Recommendation Regarding Academy Fees.
f. General Discussion.

16. Ms. Lisa S. Morris, Office of General Counsel.
a. Considerations Related to Possible Retirement Age Change.

17. Public Comments*

18. Scheduled Meetings:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Friday, January 8, 2010
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

19. Ms. Mischa Buford Epps.

20. Chief James Corwin.

21. Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

22. Commissioner Patrick McInerney

23. Commissioner James B. Wilson.

24. Commissioner Karl Zobrist.

25. Commissioner Mark C. Thompson.

26. Motion to go into Closed Session.

27. Informational Items:

a. Project #133, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Uniform and Personal Appearance Regulations.
b. Project #21, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Computer Security.
c. Project #136, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Risk Management Team.
d. Project #319, Revision of Procedural Instruction, Department Property Inventory and Control.
e. Funding Gap Elimination Implementation Timeline.
f. Recovery Act Grant Summary.
g. Status of Public Safety Sales Tax at the end of November.
h. KCPD Grant Summary Sheet 12/08/09.
i. Donated Property Summary Report.

*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.”

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Secret Santa visits KCPD

Yesterday was a very special day for a few KCPD employees. Kansas City's Secret Santa and his elves (KCPD officers) came to visit these very deserving people and gave them cash to help during the holiday season.
The first gift was for an administrative assistant in the Communications Unit who cares for two adult sons with disabilities, and one of them just had surgery. Another administrative assistant in the Traffic Enforcement Division received a gift of cash from Secret Santa to help with expenses after her brother was killed in a motorcycle crash.

A 75-year-old custodian at the Shoal Creek Patrol Division also was the recipient of some of Secret Santa's generosity. His family farm was recently foreclosed on, and he has had a re-occurence of cancer. The final KCPD stop of Secret Santa and his elves was at Police Headquarters, where they visited Records Unit Supervisor Yvette Leap, pictured above. Yvette has already battled cancer once and is doing it again.

After their stops around the department, Secret Santa and the KCPD elves visited local thrift stores throughout the city, handing out more cash to people in need.

Kansas City Police are proud to support Secret Santa, and we thank him for how generous he is to those in our community who need help the most, including members of our very own KCPD family. I'm so glad someone is carrying on the work started by the original under-cover St. Nick, the late Larry Stewart. And Secret Santa, we've got a department full of elves ready to assist you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

FBI gives KCPD $420,000 seized from convicted drug dealer

The Kansas City Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation yesterday gave Kansas City Police more than $420,000 seized from a major drug dealer that KCPD investigators helped the FBI arrest and prosecute.

Jacques Lavigne, also known as Frank Moran, pleaded guilty in March 2008 to his role in a conspiracy to distribute large amounts of cocaine from his home on the Country Club Plaza. As part of the
plea deal, Lavigne agreed to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of his offenses, which included more than $500,000 in U.S. currency, jewelry, artwork, and high-end vehicles. Lavigne, age 65, is serving a 20-year sentence in federal prison.

Yesterday, Kansas City FBI Special Agent in Charge Brian Truchon presented us with a check for $421,610 for our role in the investigation and arrest of Lavigne. This money will go into our federal seizure and forfeiture fund, and we have two years to spend it. The usage of these funds is restricted, typically going to pay for grant matches, computers and network systems, technology training, investigation expenses and facility improvements.

None of this would have happened without the dedicated efforts of KCPD’s undercover detectives and the FBI’s special agents. They worked with confidential informants and ultimately intercepted a 10-kilogram cocaine delivery from Florida. A major source of narcotics to the Kansas City area was cut off, thus reducing the flow of violence that comes with illegal drugs like these.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Men shot to death in cars Friday and Saturday identified

At 5:01 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11, officers went to 68th Terrace and Myrtle on a reported sound of shots. Upon arrival, they found 19-year-old Rakim Gonzales (pictured bottom) of Kansas City, Mo., dead from apparent gunshot wounds in the driver's seat of a blue Toyota. He was found with a handgun in his hand, and a witness said two other vehicles had fled the scene, and the occupants of the cars had been shooting at one another.

Then at 3:41 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, officers were called to the 5400 block of Bellefontaine to investigate a shooting. They found 22-year-old William L. Payton (pictured top) of Kansas City, Mo., dead in the passenger seat. He had been shot to death. The male driver also had been shot, but his injuries did not appear life-threatening. Officers believe the shooting took place at another location, but the driver is providing few details about what happened.

No suspect is in custody in either case. Police ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Traffic squad switches to court security

If you've been to Municipal Court lately, you may have noticed a lot more police officers milling around. This story from our monthly Informant newsletter explains why:

Sergeant Ed Mulloy spent the past 11 of his nearly 28 years on the department as a supervisor in Traffic Enforcement. On November 9, his assignment changed, taking him to the Kansas City Municipal Court – a much different responsibility. He and eight officers, all from Traffic Enforcement, are now responsible for courthouse security; the previous responsibility assumed by one armed and several unarmed security guards.

The courthouse sees about 2,000 people come through its doors daily; some for traffic violations and others for more serious offenses. The building houses nine courtrooms with eight in session at any given time. The eight judges working there have requested the aid of the PD for some time, according to Sergeant Mulloy. They and prosecutors alike felt threatened at times and did not feel that the available security offered adequate protection from the potential danger.

Their concerns are understandable when you consider that the only thing between the attorneys and judges and the spectators in each courtroom is a wooden bar. The intimidation factor for those on the other side of that bar is high. And many of those being tried are facing serious charges like aggravated assault and domestic violence.

At the October Board of Police Commissioners meeting, Chief James Corwin explained that the department recently stopped making officers go to all court appearances and only required them to show up at those in which testimony is given. While it saved officers from a lot of down-time, it also meant far fewer of them were in the court at any given time. Chief Corwin said Judges and court staff felt significantly less safe with the dearth of men and women in blue.

Things are different now. Armed police officers patrol the hallways offering peace of mind and providing intervention when a situation warrants it. So far, Sergeant Mulloy says they’ve intervened in a few fights occurring between people exiting a courtroom. They also have arrested some individuals with felony warrants. The response, he says, has been overwhelmingly positive from both the judges and prosecutors alike.

As a long-time traffic officer, the experience has been a change for him.

“This is a whole different world,” he says, “but I like it. The weather is always perfect and the hours are great.”

The court officers also are supplementing the Downtown Footbeat when needed.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking for robbery/police shooting suspects

Do you recognize any of the individuals pictured above? On Dec. 7, they robbed the Kentucky Fried Chicken at 420 W. 85th Street and went on to shoot at a police officer in the parking lot of a grocery store at 85th and Wornall. You can read more about the incident here.

If you recognize any of these people, please call the Robbery Unit at 816-234-5230 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Kansas City Police release audits on car crashes, use of grant overtime funds


Preventable car crashes cost KCPD more than $362,000 in 2008, internal auditors found, so commanders are recommending all patrol officers and any department member who gets in a preventable crash take driver’s training.

The Department’s Internal Audit Unit today released an audit on preventable car crashes and a follow-up audit on how the department uses overtime money allotted in traffic grants.

The Preventable Vehicular Accident Post-Audit showed KCPD had 149 preventable crashes in 2008 involving 131 police department members, which is an increase of 33 crashes over 2007. The crashes cost the department $362,681, which is $73,000 more than in 2007. Those who have worked at the department for six or fewer years were responsible for 55 percent of crashes. In November 2008, the Police Academy implemented a Driver’s Training Section dedicated to reducing these numbers. As of August 2009, 118 department members and 100 police recruits have gone through the training. After reviewing the audit, police commanders have recommended that all patrol officers take the 32-hour course, as should any other department member who is involved in a preventable car crash.

The Special Operations Division Grant Overtime Post Audit followed up on a January 2007 internal audit that recommended better tracking of hours for federal grant traffic programs that fund specific traffic projects. Those grants are: Hazardous Moving Grant, Multiple Offender Grant, Occupant Protection Grant, Speed Enforcement on I-435 Grant, Speed Enforcement on I-70 Grant, Sobriety Checkpoint Grant and Youth Alcohol Grant. The Post Audit found officers adopted all of the original audit’s recommendations, and they are accurately tracking the hours spent on these projects.

Click here to see the full Preventable Vehicular Audit.
Click here to see the SOD Grant Overtime Post Audit.

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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The dangers officers face

Last week, I told you how dangerous the most routine call can be for police officers. Today, we’re releasing video of a fatal police shooting that started out as a seemingly mundane call about a non-injury car crash.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 6, 2009, police responded to a non-injury, one-vehicle car crash near 113th Street and Sycamore Terrace in south Kansas City. They found out the driver had walked away about 100 yards into nearby Isler Park. One officer drove into the park to contact the man, and as you will see in these videos from police car dash-cams, the man suddenly turned and started firing shots at the officer. The officer fell to the ground behind his patrol car door to avoid being hit. At that time, a second officer arrived and ran to assist the first officer, risking being shot himself. The officers soon returned fire on the suspect, who continued to point a gun at them even after he had been shot and fallen to the ground. The suspect died from the return shots from the officers. Miraculously, neither of the officers was injured.

On Nov. 20, a Jackson County Grand Jury cleared the officers of any wrong-doing in the suspect’s death. We were notified of this decision on Monday, Dec. 7.
I am releasing this video to show you the dangers KCPD officers face daily. We also are committed to being transparent. No officer ever wants to kill another human being, but as you can see in the video, sometimes they are left with no choice.

WARNING: This video contains disturbing images and is not suitable for children. There is audio in the second half of the video.

A rough morning commute

The weather certainly made this morning a rough drive to work for many people around Kansas City. Consider these numbers:

  • From 7 to 9 a.m. today, Dec. 9, we had 43 non-injury car crashes and 3 injury crashes.
  • Compare that to yesterday, when from 7 to 9 a.m. we had just 13 non-injury crashes and 3 injury crashes.
These numbers account only for calls on which police were dispatched in the city limits of Kansas City, Mo. These do not include the number of accident reports that were walked into the stations.

Speaking of, during road conditions like this, if you get into an accident and your car is driveable and you can safely exit the scene, please exchange information with the other car's driver and walk the report in to the nearest police station. As you can see, police were very busy this morning responding to 46 crashes in a two-hour period, and the more of them we can keep available to assist in serious emergencies, the better.

Please be careful out there.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Saturday's Women's Personal Safety Seminar rescheduled to Jan. 9


Kansas City Missouri Police have rescheduled the next Women’s Personal Safety Seminar for 8 a.m. to noon Jan. 9, 2010, at the Kansas City Regional Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Rd.

The seminar had previously been set for Dec. 12. That class is cancelled.

The four-hour seminar focuses on awareness, prevention, streetwise caution and self defense. Kansas City Police Academy instructors and other KCPD officers teach the class, which features one hour in the classroom learning practical crime prevention tips and three hours on mats in the gym learning self defense techniques. The four-hour course costs $25 and is open to women and girls 12 and older throughout the metropolitan area. To register, fill out this registration form and follow the instructions for sending it in.

After the first Women’s Personal Safety Seminar on Nov. 14, participants were asked to fill out evaluation forms on the course. Here’s some of what they said:

• “Very practical, very professional training. … I liked both sessions – classroom and gym.”

• “Extremely beneficial – it means more to me coming from KCPD.”

• “It made me aware of the fact that I don’t have to a victim.”

• “The format was terrific. I will definitely recommend it to others.”

• “I feel more prepared for situations that I hope I never have to be in.”

For more information on the Women’s Personal Safety Seminar, call the Academy at 816-413-3500.

Agenda for Thursday's Board of Police Commissioners meeting

A few things to note here:
First, the meetings will take place at the Police Academy, not at Police Headquarters. Second, an Audit Committee meeting will precede the regular business meeting. And third, the business meeting is more of a planning/strategizing session than a policy-setting one. The meetings are, as always, open to the public.

Kansas City, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners
Audit Committee Agenda

Date and Time: Thursday, December 10, 2009, 8 am
Location: Training Division, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Rd., KCMO

1. Gary White, City Auditor

2. Chief Corwin

3. Deputy Chief Nichols

4. Thomas Gee, Manager, Internal Audit Unit.

a. Completed audits for presentation and release:
i. Preventable Vehicular Audit, 09-01
ii. Grant Overtime Post Audit, 09-05
b. Audits in progress (informational):
i. Records Unit Audit, 08-11
ii. Supply Unit Inventory Audit, 08-07
iii. Vehicle Pursuit Process Audit, 09-03
iv. Communications Support Unit Post Audit, 09-06
c. Audits assigned but not yet started (informational):
i. OGC Post Audit, 08-09
ii. Use of Force Information Usage Audit, 09-02
iii. Buy Money Post Audit, 09-04

5. Comments from Chief Corwin

6. Comments from Deputy Chief Nichols

7. Comments from Commissioner McInerney.

8. Comments from Commissioner Zobrist.

Board of Police Commissioners Business Session Meeting Agenda

Thursday, December 10, 2009
8:30 a.m. – Regional Police Academy

1. Scheduled Meetings:

Board Meetings:

Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 23, 2009
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Friday, January 8, 2009
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

2. Approval of Minutes.
a. October 8, 2009 Business Session.
b. October 27, 2009 Board Meeting.

3. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau.
a. Request for Proposal, Occupational Health Services.
b. General Discussion.

4. Strategic Planning Session.
a. Performance.
b. Communications.
c. Community Satisfaction/Involvement.
d. Internal Elements.
e. Legislative Issues.

5. Board Goals.
a. Commissioner Orientation Process.
b. Commissioner Continuing Education.
c. Effective Governance.

6. Motion to go into Closed Session.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Don't leave your car warming unattended

We're coming into some of the coldest days this season, and our property crimes detectives know exactly what that means: an increase in stolen cars.

As the chill of winter sets in every year, people try to warm up their vehicles or leave them running unattended. This is a perfect target for car thieves, and it's against the law. In Kansas City, Mo., you can be ticketed for leaving your car running unattended.

While this can happen at home as your car runs in your driveway, it's even more likely to take place when you're out running errands. We see far too many people who decide to leave their car running while they pop into a convenience store, only to come back outside and find it stolen. Our detectives have encountered several thieves who actually wait outside convenience stores for just such an opportunity.

And if you think locking your vehicle's door while you leave it running will protect it from theft, you're wrong. It only takes a few extra seconds for a thief to break out the window.

I know it's unpleasant to get into a cold car, but it's a lot more unpleasant to have your car stolen or be written a ticket because you left it running unattended.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Prosecutor should appeal mistrial ruling in murder case

On Nov. 27, a Jackson County Judge orally dismissed a murder case against a man charged with the 2007 homicide of Eliseo Thomas. Judge Robert Schieber said he did so because KCPD Detective Danny Phillips testified that he had known the defendant prior to this case. Judge Schieber said this was prejudicial. You can read more about what happened in this Kansas City Star article.

A formal, written order was issued yesterday in Jackson County Circuit Court dismissing the case, concluding that Det. Phillips “intentionally provoked defense counsel into requesting a mistrial.”

The basis for this conclusion was the Judge’s view that Detective Phillips responded to a question inappropriately while on the witness stand. Based on the facts provided to me and after talking to Detective Phillips, I respectfully disagree with the Judge’s characterization of the testimony. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that the conduct of the detective on the witness stand was not intentional but rather a miscommunication that led to this unfortunate result. Although there was an opportunity to clarify the detective’s testimony, no testimony was elicited by the lawyers present to clarify what the Judge characterized as his inappropriate response to the question asked by the defense counsel. It is my belief that a simple follow-up question to Detective Phillips would have clarified his answer and eliminated any question about the detective’s response. It is our hope that the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office will pursue an appeal of the ruling.

Although it is always regrettable when any case is not successfully prosecuted, the men and women of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department strive to be highly professional, adhere to the rules of our courts and provide the best quality service to the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri each and every day.

Victim of homicide near Rockhurst University identified

At approximately 9 p.m. yesterday, Dec. 1, officers were called to 54th and Lydia to meet Rockhurst University Security on an ambulance call.

Upon arrival, officers observed the victim, a young black male, to be unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has been identified as 17-year-old Nelson E. Hopkins Jr. of Kansas City, Mo. Detectives believe that Nelson had left the Plaza Library and took a bus to 54th and Troost just prior to the shooting. He was walking home on 54th Street when he was shot.

Anyone who may have observed Nelson or people following Nelson on the bus or after he got off the bus is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Faithful officers

Members of our department serve the community both on and off-duty. I wanted to highlight some of them who are doing great work through their churches that were recently noticed by local newspapers.

The first are Administrative Assistant Irene Munoz in the Patrol Bureau Office and Captain Rick Smith in the Research and Devlopment Division. They did a great deal to assist with the National Catholic Youth Conference that was in town last month. Check out what they did in The Catholic Key.

The second is Detective David Reyburn in the Forgery Section. He helps feed the hungry in eastern Jackson County, as noted in this Independence Examiner story.
There are some very caring and faithful people on this department, and I'm proud to be among them.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Grieving with our brothers and sisters in Lakewood, Washington

My heart aches today for our law enforcement brothers and sisters in Lakewood, Wash. Four of their officers were senselessly and violently killed Sunday morning awaiting the start of their shift at a coffee shop. The suspect who did these awful things can no longer hurt anyone else, but that won’t bring those deceased officers back and is cold comfort to their families.

Like so many of our officers, those Lakewood officers were parents. They also were sons and daughters, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, and friends, and they will be sorely missed. We grieve with our police family in Washington as they work through this excruciating time.

It also makes me reflect on just how dangerous being a police officer is, whether in a large, urban department like ours or a small, suburban department like that in Lakewood, Wash. Kansas City Missouri Police have been fortunate enough not to lose an officer in the line of duty since 2001, but there have been many close calls since then.

Sunday’s tragedy is a grim reminder that officers must always be on guard. The simplest call could turn into a life-and-death situation. In this case, the officers were just doing paperwork in a coffee shop. The article in today’s Kansas City Star discusses how some of our officers are feeling right now.

You may have run across officers who seem stand-offish or don’t readily engage in conversation. This is because they must constantly be alert. Most of them really are wonderful, friendly people, but they are trained to focus on safety first. Nonetheless, most also would readily lay their life on the line to protect yours.

The next time you see a police officer, from Kansas City or Lakewood, Wash., or anywhere else, please thank him or her for the life-risking sacrifices they take every day.

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Homicide Quarterly Report

Our Third Quarterly Homicide Report is now online and ready for viewing. It's a very detailed statistical analysis of the 89 homicides we had in the first three quarters of this year - through Sept. 30. (We're at 104 homicides to date this year, compared to 122 this time last year).

The report contains statistics you would expect about things like gender and race of victims, but it has other information, too. Like that most murders this year have taken place on a Monday. Or that 75 percent of victims in 2009 have had a criminal record. It also includes detailed maps of aggravated assault hotspots and where homicides have taken place throughout the city.

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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).