Monday, August 31, 2009

Officer gets Life-Saving Award for rescuing man from frigid Brush Creek

KCPD officers do amazing and heroic things every day. Once in a while, I get the pleasure of recognizing them for their actions, like I did at an award ceremony last week. Here is the story of Officer Joshua Gasper, who saved a man from drowning and hypothermia:

On a chilly February day, police received a call from a woman walking her dog along Brush Creek who heard a man screaming in distress.

It was about 2:45 p.m. February 11, 2009, and the high that day was 43 degrees. Officer Joshua Gasper was the first to arrive on scene, parking just south of the tennis courts. He walked down the hill toward the creek and didn’t see anyone in need of help. He then observed a young couple who both were pointing underneath a bridge, down toward the creek. There, a Hispanic male was in the water, trying to hold onto the ledge and keep his head above water. Officer Gasper tried to pull the man out by his collar, but the man’s clothes were so water-logged that he was too heavy, and Officer Gasper almost fell into the frigid water, too.

Officer Gasper then tried a different tack, this time grabbing the man by his sleeve and belt while he sat on the ledge and leaned all of his weight backward. He was successful and able to pull the man out of the water and onto the walkway. Another officer then arrived and wrapped the man in a blanket. Both officers rubbed the man vigorously to keep him warm until an ambulance arrived. The man spoke very little English, but he did repeatedly tell the officers he did not want to die.

Ambulance personnel reported that the man’s skin was wrinkled, indicating he had been in the water for some time. Sergeant John Blomquist asked the National Weather Service what the average temperature for Brush Creek would have been that day and was told it was about 33 degrees. Just 30 minutes in water of that temperature could bring about death from hypothermia. The man was at even greater risk because he was intoxicated, which greatly reduces the body’s ability to cope with cold. But thanks to Officer Gasper’s actions, the man recovered.
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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Victim of homicide at 70th Terr. and Olive identified

At about 10:43 p.m. Aug. 28, officers were called to a shooting at 70th Terrace and Olive. The caller advised someone had been shot and was being driven to a local hospital. The victim, 20-year-old Justin Akins, a black male of Kansas City, Mo., arrived at the hospital and died a short time later of an apparent gunshot wound.

During the investigation, it was learned several males were involved in an outside disturbance at 70th Terr and Olive. The victim was apparently shot during the confrontation. Three black male suspects left the scene on foot.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Beware ATM skimming

Our Fraud Unit has been investigating some cases of skimmers used at ATMs in the Kansas City area. Skimmers are small devices placed directly on top of an ATM’s card-reading device. They’re designed to copy account information on the back of credit/debit cards when card holders conduct financial transactions at the ATM. Crooks must later physically remove the skimmers to download the stolen financial information. They can then use that information to steal money from a victim’s account or make fraudulent purchases.

The pictures above are of skimming devices discovered here. The photo on the top shows a normal ATM without a skimming device attached. The middle photo shows a clear, green, plastic skimmer attached to the card port. The photo on the bottom shows a different type of skimming device attached to the ATM’s card port.

Skimmers were designed for legitimate businesses to use to conduct credit and debit card transactions, but they can lead to theft if they fall into the wrong hands. They can look like they belong on ATMs, and the best way to tell if an illegal skimmer is present is to be observant. If you use the same ATM often, take note of what it looks like. If the card port looks different than normal, contact the bank as soon as possible. Also, keep a close eye on your financial statements for any purchases you didn’t make. If you see anything amiss, call police and report it to your bank immediately.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Highlights of Aug. 25 Board of Police Commissioners meeting

* Council member Cathy Jolly, chair of the Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee, said she was trying to pass a city ordinance for a Minor in Possession (MIP) by Consumption. At present, officers cannot ticket minors for possessing alcohol unless it is physically in the minor’s possession. The ordinance would make the minor’s body a container and allow for greater treatment of minors abusing alcohol.

* Eric Bosch, director of the Capital Improvements Management Office, said construction of the new Metro Patrol Division is running on schedule. A web cam is tracking the progress and can be seen here:

* Major David Zimmerman, commander of the Fiscal Division, reported that Kansas City Police received another grant for $2.55 million from the U.S. Department of Justice through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. He cautioned that this is one-time money, and the department may be facing at least a $6 million shortfall in the next fiscal year. He said he anticipates ending this year with 134 vacant positions – 72 law enforcement and 62 civilian.

* Chief James Corwin reported he met with Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and City Manager Wayne Cauthen regarding the regional jail project, and the meeting was productive. He said a space originally developed for the department in the 1980s appears to still be suitable with a little retrofitting. It would be more space than the current detention area on the eighth floor of police headquarters. Board President Mark Thompson asked whether it would save the department money from its current detention operation. Chief Corwin said a lease price is still in negotiation.

* Deputy Chief Cy Ritter reported that overall Part 1 crime from June 28-July 25, 2009 was down 13 percent compared to the same time period in 2008. He said the city had 80 homicides so far this year, which police have been fighting with investigations of retaliation and gangs.

* Nearly a quarter of Kansas City’s 44 motor vehicle fatalities to date this year have involved motorcycles, DC Ritter reported, including four of July’s seven fatalities. He said many of the victims of those crashes and motorcyclists ticketed by police do not have a motorcycle endorsement on their driver’s licenses, indicating they are not properly trained to operate one.

* Four officers from the Special Operations Division have been pulled off the street to review red-light camera violations on a full-time basis. DC Ritter said the 30 cameras are generating roughly 600 violations a day for officers to review, and they have a backlog of 6,300. DC Ritter said he thinks violations will go down in the future as drivers adjust to the presence of the cameras. Board members said they would like the city to fund additional officer positions so existing officers could stay on the street.

* Major Jan Zimmerman, commander of the Narcotics and Vice Division, reported on the positive results of Operation BLING. More information is available in this
previous post.

* The Board approved a new policy that would require adult missing-person reports to be taken in person instead of over the phone and that eliminates any sort of time limit on taking the report if the case fits certain parameters. Those parameters include if the missing adult has life-threatening physical ailments, mental health problems, dementia, or a strong indication of foul play is suspected or if there is no logical reason for the disappearance.

* Major David Zimmerman reported how highly KCPD was ranked in the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Hiring Grant process. More information about that is

* Director Rick Brisbin announced the creation of a new bureau: the Professional Development and Research Bureau. The bureau now includes the Kansas City Regional Police Academy (Basic and Professional training units), the Planning and Research Division and the remaining work of the Blueprint for the Future project. Director Brisbin is leading the bureau.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Operation BLING yields big results


Operation BLING yielded pounds of drugs, thousands of dollars and more than 150 arrests – including two homicide suspects – last week.

Commanders of the Narcotics and Vice Division announced the results of the under-cover operation at the Board of Police Commissioners today. BLING stands for Borders Linked Investigating Neighborhood Gangs. It was a three-month multi-jurisdictional initiative developed by KCPD’s Street Crimes Unit that focused on gangs, gang members and reducing violent gang crime in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The initiative focused primarily in the Northeast and Central portions of Kansas City, Mo., and culminated in a three-day sweep Aug. 10-12. A total of 87 warrants were served in Kansas City throughout the operation, with 37 of those being served during the three-day sweep.

A total of 153 charges resulted from Operation BLING, and 44 illegal firearms were recovered. In addition, police also recovered more than $27,000 in cash and a substantial amount of narcotics. The detailed results of the Operation are below:

Narcotics recovered
11.9 pounds of marijuana
1.2 pounds of cocaine
172.7 grams of crack
65.4 grams of methamphetamine
36 various pills

Firearms recovered
25 handguns
10 shotguns
9 assault rifles

70 for possession of narcotics
51 for sales of narcotics
17 other felony arrests
7 for felon in possession of a firearm
5 for carrying a concealed weapon
2 for homicide
1 for undocumented immigrant in possession of a firearm
21 of the arrests were known gang members

“This outstanding operation and its subsequent arrests are a direct result of the hard work of the men and women of the Street Crimes Unit and our law enforcement partners,” said Major Jan Zimmerman, commander of the Narcotics and Vice Division. “Removing these violent offenders from the street makes Kansas City a safer place to live, work and play.”

Operation BLING was sponsored by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The following agencies assisted KCPD with Operation BLING: Independence, Mo., Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, and Jackson County Juvenile Court.

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Community policing proves pivotal in KCPD receiving stimulus grant


Kansas City Missouri Police budget commanders announced today that the department’s commitment to community policing was a major factor in KCPD receiving an $8.3 million stimulus grant last month.

Kansas City Police ranked ninth on the Crime and Community Policing Index percentile out of the 7,272 law enforcement agencies who applied for COPS (Community-Oriented Policing Services) Hiring Recovery Program money, as ranked by the U.S. Department of Justice. KCPD’s overall Index Percentile ranking in the grant application evaluation was 99.4%, the highest ranking in Missouri and 38th in the nation.

“These rankings are a testament to the excellent reputation of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department and the extraordinary efforts of our members, especially in the areas of community policing and problem solving,” Chief James Corwin said.

The Department of Justice’s COPS Office analyzed the grant applications using a 50/50 split between fiscal need and reported crime/community policing activities.

The grant allowed KCPD to retain the 27 recent graduates of the Police Academy who would otherwise have been laid off due to city budget cuts. The grant also will pay to hire up to 23 more officers during the next three years. KCPD anticipates 72 law enforcement positions will be vacant by the end of 2009.

The full narrative portion of KCPD’s grant application
is now available. The rest of the application is available at .

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Victim from 93rd Place homicide identified

The victim of the homicide in the 8600 block of 93rd Place has been identified as 16-year-old Xavier Ferguson, a black male of Kansas City, Mo.

At about 11 p.m. Aug. 23, officers were called to the 8600 block of 93rd Place on a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located Ferguson, who was suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Ferguson was transported to an area hospital, where he later died.

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

Homicide on NE 37th St.

UPDATE 2: The vehicle was located in Peculiar, Mo., Tuesday, Aug. 25. There are still no suspects in custody. Please call 816-474-TIPS if you have any information.

UPDATE: Police are looking for a 1995 dark-green Chevy Monte Carlo, similar to the one pictured above, with Missouri license plate KD4 R1L in connection with Robert Moran's killing. It was reportedly occupied by several black males. If you've seen this car, contact Kansas City Police or the TIPS Hotline.

At approximately 12:15 p.m. Aug. 23, officers were called to 3021 NE 37th St. on a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a man inside one of the apartments suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The man was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 20-year-old Robert Moran, a white male of Kansas City, Mo. There appeared to be a disturbance in the apartment prior to the victim being shot. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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Northland Wal-Mart incident

At about 9:39 a.m. today, police were called to the Wal-Mart at 8300 N. Church Rd. in regard to a threatening phone call they had received. Apparently, a male called the Wal-Mart and threatened to shoot people inside the store.

Upon arrival, police secured the Wal-Mart and conducted a search for the suspect. At the same time, Liberty Police Department officers conducted a residence check at the suspect's house. The suspect exited his residence and surrendered peacefully.

Again, the man who made the threats has been taken into custody of the Liberty, MO. Police Dept.

2009 homicides by the numbers

We receive lots of requests for these numbers. These are Kansas City's homicide statistics as of 10 a.m. today. Click on the link to see the full report.

Total year-to-date homicides:
2009 - 80
2008 - 76
2007 - 65
2006 - 61

This year, 67 have been killed by guns, seven by stabbing, three by trauma, one by asphyxia and two by other means.

2009 homicide victims by race:
Black: 62
White: 13
Hispanic: 5

2009 homicide victims by age:
0-16: 8
17-24: 31
25-34: 19
35-44: 11
over 44: 11

2009 homicide victims by gender:
Male: 68
Female: 12

2009 homicide victims by patrol division:
Central: 27
Metro: 19
East: 26
North: 0
South: 6
Shoal Creek: 2

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Vote for KC in mayoral face-off and benefit PAL

The Police Athletic League could get $15,000 if Kansas City gets the most votes in a mayoral fantasy football league by Sept. 11.

Mayor Mark Funkhouser will compete with ten other mayors in a Yahoo! Sports Fantasy Football League this fall. The Mayoral Face-Off includes mayors from Buffalo, Green Bay, Oakland, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Sacramento, San Francisco and Tampa Bay. The prize for the winning Mayor is $15,000, to be designated to a non-profit sports program. Mayor Funkhouser is designating his winnings to go to the Police Athletic League.

Another $15,000 will go to the city with the most votes at the Mayoral Face-Off home page. Kansas City-area football fans can support the Police Athletic League by going to this link and voting for Kansas City. The city with the most votes on the Mayoral Face-Off home page by Sept. 11 will win $15,000 for their sports program.

Want to know more about what PAL does? Check out this recent Pay It Forward segment from Fox 4 and click on "East Side Role Models".

And please go vote for Kansas City!

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Agenda for Aug. 25 Board of Police Commissioners meeting

Board of Police Commissioners Meeting
Agenda – Tuesday, August 25, 2009

9 a.m. – 6th Floor, Board Room, 1125 Locust St.

1. Call to Order – Invocation – Pastor Dennis Dewey.

2. Awards and Commendations.

Life-Saving Award
Officer Joshua Gasper

Life-Saving Award
Officers Jon Rivers
Timothy Hiner
Ian Weintraub

Meritorious Service Award
Captain Michael Perne
Captain Gregory Dull
Sergeant Marisa Barnes
Sergeant Matthew Gardner
Sergeant Eben Hall
Sergeant Chris Lantz
Sergeant Joel Lovelady
Sergeant Ward Smith
Sergeant Edward Mulloy
M.P.O. Joseph Rooney
P.O. Rachel Rittenhouse
P.O. Jacob Harris
P.O. David Jackson
P.O. Tyler White
P.O. Milton Jones
P.O. Joseph Rizzo
P.O. Jason Gammill
Civ. William Conroy
Civ. Joseph Kern
Civ. David Andress

Certificate of Appreciation
Mr. Brent Lambi

Meritorious Service Award
Captain Joseph Chapman
Sergeant John Bryant
Sergeant Sean Hess
Sergeant Lawrence White
M.P.O. Aric Anderson

Certificate of Appreciation
Officer Kevin Growney

3. Mr. Gary White, City Auditor

a. Monthly Status Report.
b. General Discussion.

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

5. CIMO Report.
Mr. Eric Bosch

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

a. General Discussion.

7. Chief James Corwin
a. Budget Update FY 2010.
b. Jail Consolidation.
c. General Discussion.

8. Deputy Chief Nick Nichols – Executive Officer.

a. Monthly Report OCC Investigations.
b. H1N1 Information.
c. General Discussion.

9. Deputy Chief Cyril Ritter – Patrol Bureau.

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

10. Deputy Chief Kevin Masters – Investigations Bureau.

a. Arrest Summary.
b. Homicide Quarterly, 2nd Quarter.
c. General Discussion.

11. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau
a. Project #346, Proposed Procedural Instruction, Adult

Missing Persons.
b. Personnel Summary.

12. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte´ – Executive Services Bureau.
a. Bid No. 2010-1 Automotive Tires.
b. Renewal Bid No. 2009-3 Police Uniforms.
c. COPS Hiring Recovery Program Grant.
d. 2010 Kansas City Multi-Jurisdictional Task Force

Recovery Act Grant Award.
e. Budget Summary Report for the Month of July.
f. Funding Gap Elimination Implementation Timeline.
g. Recovery Act Grant Summary.
h. COPS Hiring Recovery Program Grant Analysis.

13. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. Blueprint for the Future.
b. Bureau Update.
c. General Discussion.

14. Ms. Lisa S. Morris (General Counsel)

15. Public Comments*

16. Scheduled Meetings:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

17. Audit Committee Report.

18. Retirement Board Appointment.

19. Jennifer Atterbury.

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. July 2009 News Coverage.
b. Status of Public Safety Sales Tax at the end of July.
c. KCPD Grant Summary 08/12/09.
d. Donated Property Summary Report.
e. Project #260, Revision of Procedural Instruction 07-4,

Use of Force.
f. Project #303, New Procedural Instruction, Smoke-Free

g. Project #309, Proposed Procedural Instruction,

Reporting Case Clearances.
h. Facility Usage September 2009.
i. Project #221, Procedural Instruction 03-17, Police

Vehicle Accident Control and Vehicle Damage Reporting.

*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.”

Thursday, August 20, 2009

KCPD invites school staff, parents to Partner to Protect Our Children in Saturday forum


To better protect the city’s children, commanders of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department will meet with area school leaders and teachers in a forum Saturday to discuss crime issues facing youth in our community.

The forum, titled Partnering to Protect Our Children, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 22, at the Regional Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road. All school administrators, counselors, teachers, parents and anyone interested in the welfare of children are invited to attend the free forum.

The Partnering to Protect Our Children forum marks the first of its kind for KCPD. After hearing a presentation by the Narcotics and Vice Division a couple months ago about disturbing drug trends targeting juveniles, Chief James Corwin felt that critical information should be distributed to schools.

“We felt like it would be a great opportunity for us to partner with school administrators to get information out about dangerous trends we’re seeing involving youth,” said Major Jan Zimmerman, commander of the Narcotics and Vice Division.

The forum also is open to parents, grandparents, neighbors and anyone who is interested in the health and welfare of the city’s children.

Commanders of each of Kansas City’s patrol divisions will present about problems they see affecting youth in their specific area, such as neighborhood party houses in Central Patrol Division, burglaries in Metro Patrol, fight clubs and marijuana use in North Patrol and curfew issues in South Patrol.

Members of the Narcotics and Vice Division also will present community-wide problems, such as drugs and gangs. They will teach attendees how to identify drugs and how to spot gang members through things like tattoos and slang usage. A majority of identified Kansas City gang members are between the ages of 15 and 22. Commanders of all divisions will discuss what they are doing to combat these issues. They also will present information about police youth programs such as DARE and the Police Athletic League.

Participants will then be invited to ask questions and get to know the police who serve their area.

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Victim of Aug. 16 homicide identified

On Aug. 16, at 6:40 p.m., police were called to a residence in the 10700 block of Stark in regard to the sound of shots. Upon arrival, officers located a shooting victim inside the residence with no signs of life. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 42-year-old Anthony Melson of Kansas City, Mo.

Kris L. Ruff has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in Melson's killing. He is in custody on $250,000 bond.

Reaching out to Spanish speakers in the Northeast

You may have seen some of the news coverage lately of our outreach to the Latino community in Kansas City’s historic Northeast area. It’s a community that has changed a lot over the years. The statistic quoted in this Kansas City Star article is a pretty amazing testament to the demographic shift:

“In 1990, the Northeast area was 79 percent white. In 2000, Hispanics became the majority. Projections for 2010 are that it will be 63 percent Hispanic, with the rest of the population almost evenly divided between African-American, white and other races.”

As a department dedicated to community policing, it is up to us to keep up with the needs of the community. That’s why three years ago, we started Spanish immersion classes for KCPD members. They take the equivalent of four semesters of college Spanish in 10 weeks, and then some go on to spend another five weeks for more classes and immersion in Mexico (I posted updates from those officers on this blog a few months ago). A total of 52 KCPD members have graduated from this program.

Many businesses in the Northeast now speak only Spanish. No matter where these residents are from or how they got here, it is our duty to keep them and their community safe. But we had been running into roadblocks. We found that many business owners and community members – who only speak Spanish – have not been reporting incidents because they felt we could do nothing about it. Or they were afraid to call the police because of their legal status in the country. Captain Robert Zimmerman at our East Patrol Division decided to do something about that. Every Tuesday afternoon, Spanish-speaking officers (including the graduates of our Spanish immersion program) pair up with each other or Northeast community members and go door-to-door at Hispanic businesses, introducing themselves and just getting to know those who live in the community they serve.

Captain Zimmerman said, “We are finding that once the initial introductions are made, and they realize that we are just trying to get information that will help their community and are not there to justify any legal status, we are receiving good feedback.”

Officers have gotten to know people at about 50 Spanish-speaking businesses so far. They are passing out flyers with information about our new Spanish-speaking hotline: 816-482-8531. This is a non-emergency number for members of the community who don’t speak English to call with information or problems. Spanish-speaking officers at the East Patrol Division monitor the messages and work to address the issues. Each call is assigned to an officer and is followed up on. So far, the calls have ranged from crime issues to people just asking about problems in the area and what they can do to help.

I am very pleased with these outreach efforts, and I look forward to building even better relationships with all of Kansas City’s diverse communities in the future.

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Monday, August 17, 2009

Learn about crimes happening in your neighborhood

If you haven’t gotten the chance to check out, I urge you to do so. There’s also a link on this blog. CrimeReports allows the public to see what crimes have taken place where they live and work. This crime alerting and mapping service provides easy-to-read incident crime maps and automated alerts to the residents and businesses of Kansas City. The service provides neighborhood crime data in near real-time and is available now.

The CrimeReports service is free to the public and allows anyone to receive automatic daily, weekly or monthly e-mail alerts when crimes occur near their home, office, local school, or any location in the city they choose. The public also can view reported crime activity on an easy-to-use map for any location within the Kansas City, Mo., boundaries.

Crime incident data is updated nightly and includes:
· Incident type
· Date
· Location
· Distance from resident’s address
· Event identification/case number
· Brief crime incident description

Neighborhood crime data is one of our most-requested items, and this service puts it right at your fingertips.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Victims from Aug. 10 & 11 homicides identified

On Aug. 10, at approximately 6:45 p.m., police were called to a hair salon in the 900 block of West 24th Street regarding a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a shooting victim ( inside the business. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. He has been identified as 38-year-old Mauro Brito-Pacheco of Gladstone, Mo. Witnesses say three armed suspects robbed the business and shot the victim employee. There are no suspects in custody.

On Aug. 11, at 8:11 p.m., police were called to the 3500 block of Wayne regarding a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a shooting victim on the front porch of a residence. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 42-year-old Larry Parker of Kansas City, Mo. Witnesses say two groups of young black males were running south on Wayne shooting at each other. It appears the victim was struck and killed by a stray bullet. There are no suspects are in custody.

Anyone with information about either of these murders is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Update on officer injured Sunday night

We’ve gotten some inquiries about the well-being of the officer who was injured by a suspect while working at a uniformed off-duty security assignment at the Power & Light District on Sunday night. The officer suffered a traumatic head injury and was admitted to a local hospital’s intensive care unit. Tuesday night his condition was upgraded and he was taken out of intensive care.

I also sincerely appreciate this statement that was issued by Kevin Battle, Chief Operations Officer of the Power & Light District:“The Kansas City Power & Light District and all of Kansas City owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the Kansas City Police Department and its officers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family for a full recovery.”All of us here at KCPD also are praying for the recovery of this officer, a member of our law enforcement family and a 14-year veteran of this department.

Both suspects were charged in Jackson County court; One with Assault in the First Degree on a Law Enforcement Officer and the second with felony Resisting and Hindering.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Homicide victim from 3700 block of Olive identified

At about 11 p.m. Monday, Aug. 10, police were called to the 3700 block of Olive regarding a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a shooting victim in the street with no signs of life. He was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 35-year-old Euril B. McCoy of Kansas City, Mo. No witnesses or suspects have been located, and detectives ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Monday, August 10, 2009

We need your cooperation

August traditionally has been one of the most violent months in our city. To stop this, we must work together. If you know something about a crime, please, please report it to us. It’s the only way to get violent offenders off the street. The TIPS Hotline is there for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable sharing his or her identity with police. The Hotline takes painstaking measures to assure anonymity, both through its phone number and its e-mail and texting tips services. They even purchased special software to scrub identifying information from all phone and e-mail sources.

I say this because we had several incidents this past weekend in which victims chose not to prosecute the people who shot them. Unlike domestic violence cases in which police and prosecutors can pursue a case without the victim’s cooperation, a victim of an aggravated assault must work with police to bring about prosecution. When they choose not to cooperate, an attempted murderer remains on the loose, and retaliatory shootings that could injure innocent people happen in place of real justice.

Consider the following incidents that happened this weekend:

August 7: Officers were called to the 5400 block of Highland at about 8:21 pm to investigate a call about shots being fired. When the officers arrived, they found two people had been shot. One victim, a male in his 30's, received a non-life threatening injury. He did not want to prosecute. The male victim was holding a female toddler who also was struck. Her injuries were considered life-threatening. Both victims were transported to area hospitals for treatment. Officers were told a dark-color car drove by the residence and fired shots into a group of approximately 40 people who were gathered in the front yard.

Without the adult male’s cooperation in this case, it will be difficult to pursue charges on behalf of the toddler. But we are going to try.

August 8: At 6:25 a.m., officers were dispatched to 51st Street and South Benton on a party down. Upon arrival, they found the victim lying in the street with a gunshot wound to his leg. The victim said he was walking westbound on 51st from South Benton and was singing in a loud voice. He further stated that an unknown black male stepped out from between the houses just to the north of him and shot him in the leg. The victim's wounds appeared non-life-threatening. He stated he did not want to prosecute, and he did not want to give any further information.

August 9: At 3 p.m., officers were dispatched to Research Medical Center regarding two people arriving in a gold Cadillac Escalade who had been shot several times. Upon arrival, the officers observed a gold Escalade with several gunshot holes to the passenger door. Both men were being treated for non-life threatening wounds and did not wish to provide any information regarding the shooting. While at the Research Hospital, East Patrol officers were dispatched to the 4200 block of Agnes regarding shots fired. Upon arrival, they were informed that the two suspects at Research had just fired shots into their house from a gold Escalade and left north on Agnes. There was an apparent argument over a cell phone, and the victim from the 4200 block of Agnes returned fire and struck the suspects prior to them fleeing in the Escalade north on Agnes. The victim from 4200 Agnes had not come forward at the time of this report. Information came from third-party witnesses.

It is very frustrating for police when victims choose not to prosecute, but we don’t simply throw our hands up and walk away from the crime scene. We carefully gather and process any physical evidence and turn it over to the Crime Lab for analysis. Oftentimes, the bullets connect to guns used in prior crimes and other shootings down the road. Detectives also interview all of the witnesses they can and hang onto that information for possible use in prior or future cases.

Ultimately, the safety of Kansas City is up to those who live here. Those living in crime-battered areas of town must decide to take back their neighborhoods. This is best achieved by having a zero-tolerance policy of crime. Report suspicious happenings. Submit tips when you know about a crime. Cooperate with police if you become a victim. If you start now, this August could be the beginning of a welcome trend in violent crime decline.

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Homicide victim from 67th & Monroe identified

Officers were on patrol in the area of 67th and Monroe at about 4:33 a.m. Sunday when they saw a car that appeared to have been involved in an accident (the car was resting against another car). When they checked the car, they discovered the driver had been shot. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene, and he was the car's only occupant. He has been identified as 26-year-old Carleton Temple of Kansas City, Mo. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Friday, August 7, 2009

July red light camera statistics

We’ve tallied the red light camera statistics for the month of July. Keep in mind, these numbers will likely be higher in August as cameras were added at more intersections July 24 and July 31.

Total violations reviewed by officers: 8,145
Total citations issued: 5,361
Percent of violations submitted that were approved for citations: 65.8%
Total hours of officer time devoted to reviewing violations: 230.3 hours

As you can see, officers approved only 65.8 percent of the violations they reviewed for citations. They are diligent in reviewing these pictures and videos to determine whether a person actually did violate the law. Below are the top reasons they decided not to issue a ticket and on how many occasions that factor took place in July:

1.) Right turn on red – slow roll: 1,380
2.) Too close to cite: 868
3.) Vehicle stopped – no violation: 224

Other factors for rejecting citations included: no DMV records matches, emergency response vehicles with authorization to go through red lights, unreadable license plates, out-of-focus pictures and a total of three funeral processions.

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Thursday, August 6, 2009

138th Entrant Officer Class graduates tonight

These 27 men and women are why we rejoiced last week when we got word that KCPD would get a federal grant to save their jobs. They are the 138th Entrant Officer Class. They graduate from the Police Academy tonight and will be on the streets with their training officers beginning Sunday, August 9.

In January 2009, we offered 35 people the chance to enter the Kansas City Police Academy. Due to the looming city budget situation, we told them that they may not have a job come May 1. Thirty-one of them agreed to stay anyway. We stretched our dollars to keep them through their graduation date, but as few as two weeks before that, they still didn’t know whether they’d have a job when it was done. But they held out hope. One, Entrant Officer Christopher Garcia, said, “I honestly thought that a plan would be worked out, and we would be able to keep our positions in some capacity.”

Twenty-seven of them made it through the Academy, and they will receive their diplomas and badges tonight. They’re not taking that for granted. Entrant Officer Brian O’Conner said, “I’m truly thankful for the men and women who have been working so hard and fighting to keep our class. I will be giving everything I have for them because they worked so hard for me.”

I am proud to be able to keep these men and women on the police force. They are the future of law enforcement in this city and could be coming to help you or someone you love someday.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Overall year-to-date crime down 25% in last two years

This may surprise you, but year-to-date crime in Kansas City is down 25 percent from 2007. You read that right: crime has fallen 25 percent in the past two years.

You likely won’t hear that on the news. In fact, what you see and read every day would probably lead you to believe that crime is sky-rocketing. I will say that our homicide rate is unacceptably high, and we are fighting day and night to stop the killings. Many of them come from issues beyond police control, like poor anger management skills. (And oddly, 2007 had one of our lowest homicide rates this decade, but had much higher overall crime. I think we can conclude that the number of homicides does not reflect the overall crime picture.)

Aside from homicide, however, the only other category of crime that has increased in the past two years was arson, which was up 13 percent. Nearly all other crime categories have gone down by double-digit percentages:

Rape: -9%
Robbery: - 13%
Aggravated assault: -26%
Burglary: - 10%
Stealing ($200 and over): - 15%
Stealing (under $200): - 33%
Auto theft: - 40%

These stats cover June 2007 to June 2009 and are the Uniform Crime Report statistics that we submit to the State of Missouri. We are still processing the July information. You can see the full summary here

This downward trend could be the result of a variety of factors, and I don’t claim to know all of them. I do know what our department has done. In 2008, the Metro Patrol Division started a special Property Crimes Task Force to combat auto thefts and burglaries in their division. That led to the arrest of several career thieves who are finally behind bars, reducing thefts all over the city. And as you can see, car thefts are down 40 percent.

In 2007, officers in the East Patrol Division received training and supplies to collect DNA at burglary scenes. This, too, has led to the arrest and incarceration of career criminals. We also have conducted numerous warrant sweeps, often in partnership with federal and other local law enforcement agencies. Last December, we fanned out in four target neighborhoods looking for and arresting those suspected to be involved in violent crime.

Without a doubt, Kansas City is a safer place now than it was just two years ago.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

August 3 homicide @ 3200 block of E. 29th St.

At 1:14 a.m. today, August 3, officers were called to the 3200 block of E. 29th St. on an outside disturbance. The call was updated to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim to be lying in the street with apparent gunshot wounds. The victim was confirmed deceased at the scene. He has been identified as 17-year-old Laron Johnson, a black male of Kansas City, Mo.

At this time, there are no suspects in custody. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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August 1 homicides

At 1:31 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, officers were called to 31st and Elmwood on a shooting. Upon arrival, witnesses advised two victims were shot in a vehicle in the 4500 block of Linwood and had left the area. The victims apparently drove themselves to an area hospital. One of the victims died at the hospital. He has been identified as 21-year-old Ricky L. Jones, a black male of Kansas City, Mo.

Then at 1:38 a.m. Saturday, officers were called to St. John and Denver on a cutting. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim to be lying in the street unresponsive. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 53-year-old Donald Wilson. His picture is above, and a suspect is in his killing is in custody.

Anyone with information on either of these homicides is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.