Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Phase 2 of 3-day operation seeks information in unsolved homicides

After the conclusion of the first phase of the violent crime initiative, 200 officers will be back on the streets tomorrow canvassing neighborhoods to get new leads in three unsolved homicide cases.

Those 200 officers are from KCPD, the Independence Police Department and six federal agencies. The cases in which they will be pursuing tips are:

* Ahmed J. Johnson: 34-year-old Johnson was shot at 6407 Manchester at 12:47 p.m. March 31, 2009.

* Lamonte Curtis and Jazmine Stiggers: 20-year-old Curtis and 16-year-old Stiggers were shot sitting on the front porch of 2627 Bellefontaine at 6:56 p.m. August 23, 2008.

* Larry Oates: 23-year-old Oates was shot outside of 2533 Chestnut at 9:24 p.m. August 11, 2008.

Anyone with information in any of these cases is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Three-day operation targets violent areas to find murder, violent crime suspects

An effort led by Kansas City Police put more than 200 law enforcement officers in the most violent areas of the city for three days to attack violent crime.

Running from Sept. 29 to Oct. 1, this year’s violent crime initiative follows up and expands on the success of last year’s initiative, which took place in December 2008 and resulted in the arrest of nearly 100 of the city’s most violent criminals, including homicide suspects. This year, KCPD and Independence Police officers, as well as agents from six federal agencies, are targeting 250 addresses in four parts of Kansas City and Independence. These addresses were selected based on homicides, drive-by shootings, aggravated assaults, police calls for service that are violent in nature, intelligence and information from district patrol officers. The four target areas in Kansas City comprise 4 percent of the city’s land area but have been responsible for 48 percent of the city’s homicides and 47 percent of its drive-by shootings in 2009.

This year’s initiative will be conducted in two parts. The first part will took place Tuesday and Wednesday as officers executed 35 search warrants and 140 arrest warrants. The results of this phase were announced at a press conference this afternoon, and my comments from the conference are below. The second phase will take place Thursday and involve 200-plus officers going door-to-door in many neighborhoods to gather more information about three unsolved homicide cases.

Here are my comments from today's press conference, including totals from the initiative:

Thank you for coming. We are here today to tell you about the results of an intensive two-day operation to find some of the most violent criminals in Kansas City.

This operation was the result of months of work on the part of our Narcotics and Vice Division and our federal partners. It builds on the success of a similar operation we conducted last December, which resulted in the arrest of more than 100 people with extensive criminal histories.

Beginning at 7 a.m. Tuesday, officers and detectives set out to serve 35 search warrants and arrest 140 people, 18 of whom were wanted for questioning in homicides.

At the same time, detectives with the Vice Section have been running decoy operations to arrest prostitutes, many of which have information about violent crimes.

As of 3:30 p.m. today, our officers have arrested 81 people on new charges. An additional 209 warrants on existing charges were cleared.

In the course of this operation, more than 200 investigators from KCPD, Independence Police and six federal agencies have gone to 250 addresses in the most violent areas of the city.

Using analysis of homicides, aggravated assaults, drive-by shootings, 911 calls, information from patrol officers and intelligence, we selected four areas to target. The four target areas comprise 4 percent of the city’s land area but have been responsible for 48 percent of the city’s homicides and 47 percent of its drive-by shootings this year.

Several incidents during the course of this operation confirmed we are focusing on the right places. While speaking with residents in the 3900 block of Garfield, officers heard gunshots just down the street. They found the car, pulled it over, and found a 16-year-old with an SKS assault rifle. The teen was taken into custody, and the gun was recovered.

At another location in the 3600 block of Prospect, officers were interviewing a woman wanted on some warrants when she received a call from her daughter. The daughter was just down the street and called her mother to ask for help because her boyfriend was assaulting her. Two officers stayed with the mother while the rest ran down the street to find the man actively beating the woman. They arrested him right there, and despite her warrants, the mother told officers she was very grateful for how they helped her family.

Many good people live in these crime-ridden neighborhoods – people who just want the violence to stop. We encountered many of them during this operation. One told us he had witnessed a shooting and gave detectives very valuable information. Another flagged down officers yesterday to tell them his neighbor down the block had a gun. The man turned out to be a convicted felon who is banned from possessing firearms. And neighbors in an apartment complex in the 3300 block of Indiana told officers how happy they were to see a party house shut down. The officers served a warrant there and found a vacant apartment with 14 cases of beer, 39 bottles of liquor, 14 bottles of wine and several cans of shaving cream inside.

Those neighbors and so many others are eager to take back their neighborhoods, and Kansas City Missouri Police and our partners are doing everything we can to help them. But we need their cooperation now more than ever.

Although this phase of the operation is over, another phase will commence tomorrow morning. It will involve those same 200 officers fanning out across the city to knock on doors to seek information in three unsolved homicide cases. These are cases that homicide detectives selected because they think more neighborhood canvasses could yield vital information.

I want to report to you some of the quantitative results of this violent crime initiative from the past two days, much of which you’ll see on these tables beside me. Some guns recovered aren’t here because they are being tested for DNA. The rest of these will be traced immediately through our new Illegal Firearms Squad to determine whether they are stolen or connected to other crimes.

As of 3:30 p.m. today:

- We’ve conducted 321 consensual searches. There have been no major incidents or injuries.
- We’ve cleared 209 arrest warrants and arrested more than 81 people.
- Approximately $94,109 in street-value narcotics were recovered, as well as $4,071 in U.S. currency.
- We recovered 32 illegal firearms, including a 13-inch shot gun and numerous assault rifles.
- We’ve served 34 search warrants.

Most importantly, the arrests made during this operation have led to much more information in violent crime cases.

Before we conclude, I want to recognize the leaders of the agencies who have made this operation possible: Special Agent in Charge Brian Truchon of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Supervisor Rich Kight of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Acting Special Agent in Charge Gilbert Trill of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Marshal Mauri Sheer of the United States Marshals Service; Assistant Inspector in Charge Tom Noyes of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Acting Special Agent in Charge Dave Mizell of the Drug Enforcement Agency; Chief Tom Dailey of the Independence Police Department, Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Harrell of the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul Becker and Gregg Coonrod of the United States Attorney’s Office.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teen who shot at officer in custody

At about 12:10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28, an officer attempted to conduct a pedestrian check on an individual walking in the street near 41st and Tracy. As the officer exited his patrol car, the suspect began to run. After a brief foot chase, the suspect fell to the ground. As he got back to his feet, he removed a handgun from his waistband and shot at the officer. The officer returned fire, and the suspect fled northbound on Forest Avenue. Neither the officer nor the suspect was injured. Police conducted a thorough search from 39th to 41st Street, and from Troost to Tracy but could not find the suspect.

Today, the shooter has been arrested and is in custody. He has been identified as 19-year-old Carl E. Counce. He has been charged with first-degree assault on a law enforcement officer and armed criminal action. He is being held on a $250,000 cash-only bond.
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Purple Heart

Thankfully, we don't give out many Purple Heart awards, but we did so last week to a very deserving person: Officer Keli Theison. She is pictured above with Deputy Chief Cy Ritter. She received a standing ovation from everyone at the Board of Police Commissioners meeting when she accepted the Purple Heart. Here's what happened that earned her the medal:

March 29, 2009, was an unusually cold day, and eastbound I-470 was beginning to ice up near View High Drive.

The ice snuck up on drivers, and one got in a non-injury accident at that location at about 8 a.m. Officers Keli Theison and Kris Crawford responded to the scene. The sun was shining brightly, making it difficult for drivers to see. While the officers were at the scene of the initial accident, a second driver lost control of his car and struck the median. It was now apparent that the roads were dangerous, and the officers didn’t want anyone involved in the accidents getting out of their cars for safety reasons. As the driver in the second crash tried to get out, Officer Theison stepped toward her to tell her to remain in her car. One witness said, “She was next to me and she was just trying to help us.” Unfortunately, another car driving on 470 lost control, struck a Motorist Assist Truck, and then struck Officer Theison.

Witnesses said Officer Theison flew about 30 feet when she was hit. Officer Crawford rushed to her side, determined her condition and radioed for help. He relayed information about the bad road conditions and positioned emergency response vehicles to prevent anyone else from getting hurt.

Officer Theison suffered life-threatening injuries, including head trauma, multiple broken ribs and lacerations. She spent nearly one month in the hospital and returned to limited duty at South Patrol Division on September 8, 2009. She is undergoing physical therapy and is expected to return to full duty. (In case you were wondering, officers are not allowed to wear uniforms until they have been cleared for full duty, which is why Officer Theison is in civilian clothes in the picture.)
One man who was involved in one of the accidents that day was so grateful to Officer Theison that he came to the hospital with flowers to thank her.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Homicide victim from 49th and Eastern identified

At about 4:10 a.m. today, Sept. 28, officers were called to the area of 49th and Eastern in regard to a shooting. Upon arrival, a white male was located in the street with no signs of life. He was pronounced dead at the scene. A witness heard a gunshot and observed the victim in the street. The victim has been identified as 24-year-old Brian K. Smith. Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Mr. Smith's homicide is Kansas City's 89th in 2009, compared to 102 homicides at the same time in 2008.
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Police seek woman missing since Sept. 24

UPDATE: Epsibari Nkeeh was located at a local hospital in good health.

Police are looking for 27-year-old Epsibari D. Nkeeh, a black female who is 5 feet 8 inches tall and weights 140 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes and was last seen wearing a pink and white sweater and tan slacks carrying a green bag and red purse. Ms. Nkeeh was last seen at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24, in the area of 85th and Wornall. Ms. Nkeeh may be mentally ill, and her family fears for her safety. If you know where Epsibari Nkeeh is, call the Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136 or 911.

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the highest honor a Kansas City Police officer can earn. It is "For performing an exceptionally valorous act far above that which is normally expected while aware of the imminent threat of personal danger." We gave this honor to Officer Marcus Smith last week. Above is Deputy Chief Cy Ritter bestowing the medal on him. Here is his story:

A woman and her children are safe today thanks to the valorous actions of Officer Marcus Smith on the evening of May 19, 2008.

At 8:49 p.m. that night, Officer Smith and his partner were dispatched to a house in the 10300 block of E. 43rd street on a call of a party armed with a gun who had threatened his live-in girlfriend. When they arrived, Officer Smith went to the front of the house, and his partner went to the back. Officer Smith saw a hysterical woman and her young son standing in the front yard. The woman told Officer Smith that she and her boyfriend had gotten into a fight when he became violent and assaulted her. He pointed a handgun at her, and she ran outside of the house with her youngest son and called 911. She told Officer Smith her boyfriend was mentally and physically ill as well as intoxicated.

Officer Smith had the woman and her child stand far behind him, out of harm’s way. He then ordered the suspect to come out of the house. The man eventually came onto the porch but then began to raise his right hand, which had a gun, and point it at Officer Smith. Fearing for the safety of the woman, child and himself, Officer Smith fired his duty weapon, killing the suspect.

When officers later cleared the residence, they found another child inside – a boy in a wheelchair in the back bedroom. When the woman was interviewed after the incident, she told detectives she “was in fear for her and her sons’ lives, and she believed the police officer’s actions kept her from being shot” by her boyfriend.

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Friday, September 25, 2009

Police investigate death of man found under bridge

Officers were dispatched to the Grand Boulevard bridge, just north of First and Grand, near Berkeley Riverfront Park at 7:05 this morning on a deceased male. Upon arrival, officers observed a white van on the bridge that had apparently struck the wall. No one was in the van, and officers observed the body of a white man directly below the bridge.

The man has been identified as 48-year-old Delbert L. Starks Jr. of Kansas City, Kan.

Detectives are investigating the incident as a "death investigation" at this time.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Police receive suspicious package, contents determined not to be harmful

At approximately 2:45 p.m. today, a civilian clerk was opening mail on the second floor of Police Headquarters. After opening an envelope with a letter inside, a suspicious white powder substance was also located inside. The second floor of HQ was evacuated, as well as several streets closed off to traffic in the area. KCFD HAZMAT arrived and tested the substance. The substance was determined to be a non-hazardous material.

The FBI will be following up on the incident.

Police partner with auto parts store Saturday to reduce vehicle-related thefts

Police estimate that up to 60 percent of Kansas City thefts are related to vehicles, and they’re teaming up with a local business to put a stop to that.

Advance Auto Parts, in partnership with Kansas City Missouri Police, will sponsor an Automobile Crime Prevention Kick-Off event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at the 4401 E. Truman Road location. Advance Auto Parts will offer anti-theft products at deeply discounted prices, and police will be on hand to provide crime prevention information. Free hot dogs and drinks also will be available. The discounts will be available only at that Advance Auto Parts location through Oct. 17.

“We believe with proper education and the availability of prevention devices, thefts related to vehicles can be reduced dramatically,” said Master Patrol Officer James Schriever of the Central Patrol Division.

One of the most common targets of thefts is license plate renewal tabs, M.P.O. Schriever said, comprising 30 to 40 percent of all stealing complaints. An easy way to prevent that theft is with a clear license plate cover. Advance Auto Parts at 4401 E. Truman Road will offer such a cover with a life-time guarantee against breaking for $3.99. Until about two years ago, plate covers were not legal in Missouri, but they were legalized at the same time the State passed a law that waived replacement fees for residents who had their license plate tabs stolen. Other anti-theft items that will be offered at heavily discounted prices through this police partnership include steering wheel locks, trailer hitch locks, gas cap locks, locking wheel lug nuts and motorcycle wheel locks. These discounts will be available from Sept. 26 to Oct. 17, only at the 4401 E. Truman Road Advance Auto Parts location.

M.P.O. Schriever also said there are free, common-sense things to do to prevent your vehicle from becoming burglarized. The most important is to not leave anything of value in view inside your vehicle.

“The other day, we had a guy who had to pay $400 to replace the window in his car because someone broke it to steal 35 cents out of his cup-holder,” M.P.O. Schriever said.

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Rash of crashes result in 7 fatalities in 5 days

Seven people have died in vehicle crashes in Kansas City in the last five days. That’s a very high number in a very short period of time. With 55 so far, we have six more crash fatalities at this point this year than we did in 2008.

The first crash happened at 1:47 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. A green Chevy 1500 was westbound on Independence Avenue when the driver apparently lost control of his vehicle, left the roadway to the south and struck a large, wooden light pole. One passenger was pronounced dead at the scene. A second passenger died the next day at about 5 p.m.

The next fatal crash took place less than four hours later at about 5:21 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 20. A man was driving a white Scion the wrong way (eastbound) in the westbound lanes of Interstate 70. As he approached Prospect Avenue, he struck a white Toyota Corolla head on. The driver of the wrong-way Scion was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the Corolla was taken to an area hospital in serious condition.

The third fatal crash happened about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Sept. 22, at U.S. 40 Highway and Interstate 435. A gold Mercury 4-door, occupied by four male subjects, had been eastbound on 40 Highway when the driver lost control and allowed the vehicle to cross the center line, into the westbound lanes of the roadway. The vehicle struck a Mercury station wagon head-on as it traveled westbound. Two passengers of the 4-door died at the scene and the other two were transported with life-threatening injuries. The two occupants of the station wagon were transported to hospitals with non-life threatening injuries. At about 3 a.m. yesterday, Sept. 23, officers investigating the crash were notified that a third passenger from the 4-door died at an area hospital.

Finally, at about 9:23 a.m. yesterday morning, Sept. 23, a motorcyclist was killed at 17th and Ewing while fleeing from police officers in a neighboring city. The pursuit began near Westport and Blue Ridge. It entered Kansas City and ended at 17th and Ewing when the motorcyclist disregarded a stop sign while southbound and struck an eastbound flat-bed truck. The man died at the scene, and the neighboring police department told Kansas City police the motorcycle was stolen.

Please, please be safe out there. Our investigators have not determined the causes of all these crashes yet or why the drivers in some of them started going the wrong way into oncoming traffic. Some common causes of such crashes are intoxication, distraction and speeding. For your sake and the sake of the lives of those around you, please abstain from these actions and drive responsibly.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Police seek woman missing from south KC

UPDATE: Janaye Trombley was located in Trenton, Mo., in good condition.

Police are looking for 20-year-old Janaye Trombley, a white female who is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs 117 pounds. She has brown hair, hazel eyes and was last seen wearing a black top and black slacks. Trombley was last seen at 12:50 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 11500 Campbell. She left on foot. Trombley suffers several mental disorders and is not taking her medications. If you know where Janaye Trombley is, call KCPD Missing Persons at 816-234-5136 or 911.

The latest 2009 homicide stats

I wanted to post an update on homicide statistics year to date. The good news is we have 12 fewer homicides than we did at this time in 2008. The bad news is that's far too many. It's 12 more than we had at this time in 2007 and 18 more than at this time in 2006. I can assure you that we are doing everything we can to keep this year's homicide count from rising any higher.

You can see the full summary here.

We have cleared 45 percent of this year's cases, and 11 are under review at the prosecutor's office. If you count those under review, our 2009 homicide clearance rate is 58 percent.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Highlights of today's Board of Police Commissioners meeting

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

* City Auditor Gary White presented results of the Citizen Satisfaction Survey, in which satisfaction scores improved on every question related to police.

* Eric Bosch, director of the city’s Capital Improvements Management Office, reported that the new Metro Patrol Division should be ready for occupancy in April 2010. He also reported that he and police staff had met with architects and engineers to draw up site plans for the new South Patrol Division and Special Operations Division.

* Pearl Fain, Director of the Office of Community Complaints, noted that this month is the Office’s 40th anniversary.

* The Board of Police Commissioners passed a resolution in support of the COMBAT (Community-Backed Anti-drug Tax) renewal, which will be on the ballot Nov. 3, 2009.

* Major Wayne Stewart, commander of the Central Patrol Division, discussed recent crime issues along Armour Boulevard in Hyde Park. He said the Department is trying to use Crime Free Multi-Housing principles to bring crime down in the area, but it requires the cooperation of management of the several large apartment complexes in the area. He said the Department is working with a group involving the Hyde Park Neighborhood Association, and he has met with the Missouri Development Council in Jefferson City about the area. “This is beyond just a police issue,” Major Stewart said.

* The Narcotics and Vice Division’s monthly report showed that it has recovered 91 percent more methamphetamine than last year with 77 pounds seized through August 2009. It has seen a whopping 2,863-percent increase in marijuana seizures over 2008, with almost 77,000 pounds seized through August of this year.

* Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple reported that a new class of 30 recruits began the Police Academy yesterday. Their class is funded by the recent federal stimulus grant KCPD received.

* Captain Eric Winebrenner, Budget Unit Commander, presented the department’s proposed 2010-11 budget request, which will be submitted to the City. Capt. Winebrenner said, “This is the bare bones required to operate the police department at fully authorized staffing.” That staffing is 1,482 law enforcement positions and 695 civilian positions. The total budget request is for $228.9 million, a 7.83-percent increase over the current fiscal year. $189.4 million of that would be for the General Fund. The remaining balance comes mainly from the public safety sales tax, grants, department-generated revenues and the COMBAT tax. The proposed budget includes no pay or benefit increases. It does include a request for four full-time officers to process red-light camera violations because currently, four officers are being pulled off the street full time to do so. It also includes a request of $4 million for new police vehicles to replace the department’s high-mileage fleet. No police vehicles are being purchased in the current fiscal year.

* Jim Pyle, director of the Kansas City Police Retirement System, reported that KCPD’s retirement plans lost 25 percent of their assets in the recent economic downturn. That equated to a $200 million loss for the law enforcement plan and a $25 million loss for the civilian plan. Pyle said pensions and retirement plans all over America suffered similar losses. Because of those losses, Pyle said that there will be no cost of living increase for KCPD retirees next year, just the second time that has happened since 1978.

* The Board discussed a revision of the department’s Use of Force policy, and they agreed to take it up again at their next meeting.

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Police honor man who stopped thieves from stealing from injured officers

Today, the Department and Board of Police Commissioners presented a Certificate of Appreciation to Mr. Kenneth Ray for assisting two injured officers. Those officers were unconscious and didn't get to thank Mr. Ray until today. Their photo is above. Here's what happened:

At about 7:30 p.m. July 26, 2009, two Kansas City police officers were driving on Gregory with lights and sirens going to a disturbance call. As they crossed 71 Highway, a car failed to stop, and it struck the police car with great force.

Officer Sebastien Hanriot was driving, and he said the impact was brutal. He said, “Everything was crushing within the vehicle, and a lot of our equipment was flying and hitting us.” Officer Hanriot was conscious just long enough to radio dispatchers to tell them where he and his partner were and what happened, and then he passed out.

Unfortunately, two men were nearby who wanted to take advantage of the injured police officers and their wrecked vehicle. But luckily for police, Mr. Kenneth Ray was nearby, as well. He said he was about two blocks away when he heard the loud sound of the impact and came to the scene of the collision to see if he could help. When he got there, he saw two men reaching into the back of the patrol car. The men were trying to steal the officers’ duty equipment bags from the back seat while the officers were unconscious. Mr. Ray told the men to put the officers’ equipment back. The men initially said they were trying to help the injured officers, but when Mr. Ray confronted them, they ran away and left the officers’ things. If not for Mr. Ray, the men would have made off with the injured officers’ equipment.

Monday, September 21, 2009

KCPD annual report among the best in North America

I’d like to congratulate the members of our Media Unit and the Special Projects Section for creating one of the best police department annual reports in North America.

KCPD’s 2008 annual report won second place at the 2009 International Association of Law Enforcement Planners conference in St. Louis last week. You can see our report
here. The first-place winner, from the Waterloo, Ontario, Police Department in Canada, was created by a professional graphic designer. KCPD’s is the top-ranking report created in-house. In addition to police officers, our department is composed of talented civilian professionals who are experts in their field. Some of our best writers and designers created the latest annual report to clearly communicate the story of our department and annual crime statistics. I’m proud to have them on our team, and I look forward to our annual report taking home first place next year.

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Police seek missing man

UPDATE: Justin Snellings has been located, and he is well.

Police are looking for 20-year-old Justin N. Snellings, a white male who is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 161 pounds. He has blond hair, brown eyes and was last seen wearing a tank top and blue jean shorts. Mr. Snellings was last seen at 7:24 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 20, at Kansas City Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust St. He left on foot. Mr. Snellings suffers several mental disorders and is not taking his medications. If you know where Justin Snellings is, call KCPD Missing Persons at 816-234-5136.

Agenda for tomorrow's Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

Sept. 22 Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

9:00 a.m. – 6th Floor, Board Room

1. Call to Order – Invocation – Father Ron Verhaeghe

2. Awards and Commendations.

Certificate of Appreciation
Mr. Kenneth Ray

Certificate of Commendation
Officer William Fisk
Officer Eric Valentine

Certificate of Commendation
Officer Kristun Crawford
Officer Keli Theison

Purple Heart
Officer Keli Theison

Medal of Valor
Officer Marcus Smith

3. Approval of Minutes, Regular Board Meeting,
August 25, 2009.

4. Mr. Gary White, City Auditor.

a. Monthly Status Report.
b. First Quarter Citizen Satisfaction Survey Results.
c. 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. COMBAT Resolution.
b. Budget Update FY 2010.
c. Jail Consolidation.
d. 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. Hyde Park Plan to Reduce Crime.
d. 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. Project #260, Revision of Procedural Instruction 07-4,
Use of Force.
c. Project #303, New Procedural Instruction, Smoke-Free Environment.
d. Project #221, Procedural Instruction, Police Vehicle Accident Control and Vehicle Damage Reporting.
e. Project #309, Proposed Procedural Instruction, Reporting Case Clearances.

13. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte´ – Executive Services Bureau.
a. Award of Traffic Services Project Grants for 2010.
b. Mobile Data Computers (MDC) for Traffic Grant.
c. Software/Hardware Items for 09/10 PC Replacement.
d. Network Switch Replacement.
e. Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
f. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
g. Budget Summary Report for August.
h. Recover Act Grant Summary.
i. Funding Gap Elimination Implementation Timeline.
j. COPS Hiring Recovery Program Grant Comparison Charts.
k. FY 2010-11 Requested Budget.

14. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. Blueprint Status Report, August 2009.
b. General Discussion.

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

16. Public Comments*

17. Mr. Jim Pyle, Kansas City Police Retirement System Board.
a. Retirement System Funding.

18. Scheduled Meetings:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Thursday, October 8, 2009
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

19. Audit Committee Report.

20. Ms. Mischa Buford Epps.

21. Chief James Corwin.

22. Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

23. Commissioner Patrick McInerney

24. Commissioner James B. Wilson.

25. Commissioner Karl Zobrist.

26. Commissioner Mark C. Thompson.

27. Motion to go into Closed Session.

Informational Items

a. Towing/Protective Custody of Vehicles and Contents.
b. August 2009 News Coverage.
c. Status of Public Safety Sales Tax at the end of August.
d. KCPD Grant Summary 09/04/09.
e. Donated Property Summary.
f. Academy Campus Usage.
g. Updated Organizational Charts, Research and Development Division.

* 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.”

Friday, September 18, 2009

Come meet KCPD officers, horses, dogs and more at Waldo Fall Fest on Saturday

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department will have several units on display at the 17th Annual Waldo Fall Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, at 75th and Wornall.

Come meet the Mounted Patrol with their horses and the Canine Section with their dogs. Bike Patrol and ATV Patrol officers will be there, as well as a Tactical Unit Squad and their armored vehicle. Metro Patrol Division personnel will be on hand to meet and greet festival goers and pass out crime prevention information and crime maps of the area. The KCPD mobile incident command bus and roll-over accident simulator also will be on hand.

In addition to police, the Waldo Fall Fest will include all-day entertainment, food, booths, games and more.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kansas City Police to escort Los Angeles Police memorial out of city Friday


To support their law enforcement brethren in Los Angeles, Kansas City Police officers will escort a large memorial for LAPD fallen officers out of Kansas City at about 1 p.m. Friday.

The 32-foot-long and 12-foot, 3-inch high memorial is being constructed by A. Zahner Company and will be transported on a semi-truck to Los Angeles, Calif. A. Zahner produces custom architectural and ornamental metal work for the commercial industry and is located at 1400 E. 9th St. in Kansas City, Mo. Kansas City Police will escort the Los Angeles Police Department Fallen Officers Memorial out of Kansas City limits, at which point a U.S. Department of Transportation escort will take over. When the memorial arrives in Los Angeles on Monday night or Tuesday morning, LAPD officers will escort it to its final home on a public plaza one block south of L.A. City Hall and next to the new Los Angeles Police Department Administration Building.

The monument was designed by the L.A. Office of Gensler, a pre-eminent, world-wide architectural and planning firm. The design involves complex wall surfaces and edges and will feature 2,106 brass plaques. Of those, 201 will be engraved with the names, ranks and the day each LAPD officer gave his or her life in the line of duty. A stylized LAPD badge also will be part of the memorial. All the plaques will be suspended in four layers from the core of the memorial. A rendering of the memorial is above.

“Zahner has fabricated this wall with care, dignity and sophistication befitting the solemn nature of this memorial,” said Gary Davis, Zahner’s Director of Marketing.

After Zahner workers load the memorial onto a trailer and build a protective crate around it at about 1 p.m., Kansas City Police will lead it to the State Line, avoiding as many overpasses as possible.

The memorial will be unveiled in L.A. at an October 14 ceremony, said Linda Wagener, CEO of the Los Angeles Police Foundation. The memorial, which was privately funded, replaces one that was damaged beyond repair when it was moved for the construction of L.A.’s new police administration building.

“Several of us here got choked up when we found out Kansas City Police would be escorting it to city limits,” Wagener said. “In law enforcement, we really are a brotherhood.”

For more information about A. Zahner, visit

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We're now on Twitter

To better communicate with residents of Kansas City, Mo., and beyond, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department has started using the micro-blogging site, Twitter.

The Twitter page,, will keep followers up to date on breaking crime and traffic news, missing person alerts, press releases and more. Police will “tweet” several times a week.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Man found shot Sept. 12 @19th and Paseo dies

UPDATE: Detectives believe Mr. Jones may have pulled out in front of a dark- colored Pontiac Grand Am in the area of 19th and Paseo after he left the 18th and Vine area. Witnesses report hearing a gunshot after the near-accident. Mr. Jones also told officers he nearly hit a car when he turned onto south-bound Paseo. His vehicle was found facing the wrong way (south-bound) in the north-bound lanes of Paseo near 20th street. Reports indicate the dark-colored vehicle fled the area south-bound on 71 Highway. Mr. Jones was driving a Black BMW. Anyone who may have been in the area around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 12 is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS (8477).


At about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept., 12, officers were called to the area of 18th and Paseo in regard to the sound of shots. During an area canvass, officers located the victim inside his vehicle at 19th and Paseo. The victim appeared to be suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he died several days later.

The victim has been identified as 22-year-old Ian Jones of Kansas City, Mo.

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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Pedestrian killed in accident with police car identified

The man who was killed in a crash with a Kansas City Police car at Independence Avenue and Bennington at 11:28 a.m. Sept. 4, 2009, has been identified as 78-year-old Antonio Salazar Perales (date of birth June 13, 1931).

Mr. Perales used a number of different names, and investigators have been unable to locate any family members in the Kansas City area to notify regarding his death. Investigators were able to locate the above photo from an arrest in 1984 from the Bexar County Sheriff's Office in Texas (his date of birth was listed as June 30, 1927, at the time of that arrest). Anyone with information regarding the family of Mr. Perales should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

The investigation into the accident is still ongoing.

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Victim of homicide @ Armour and Cherry identified

At about 5:24 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, officers were called to Armour and Cherry on a shooting. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim to be suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

The victm has been identified as 20-year-old Taylor T. Holman of Kansas City, Mo. Holman's is the 86th homicide of 2009, compared to 92 at the same date in 2008.

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

Monday, September 14, 2009

Girl shot in 3400 block of Bellefontaine dies

At about 9:22 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, officers were called to the 3400 block of Bellefontaine on a shooting. Upon arrival, they found 17-year-old Charmaine Jamison of Kansas City, Mo., in a residence suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. She was transported to an area hospital by ambulance with life-threatening injuries. Charmaine Jamison died two days later on Sept. 14 at the hospital.

Police seek kidnapped girl

UPDATE: Dominique returned home on her own at about 10:30 p.m. last night, Sept. 14. Melissa Farris-Visnich still has not been located.

Police need your help to find a 15-year-old girl who was abducted by her biological mother, a known drug abuser who is homeless.

On August 5, the victim – 15-year-old Dominique R. Stout – went to the store to get cigarettes with her biological mother, 32-year-old Melissa P. Farris-Visnich. She never returned. The victim is pictured at top, and the suspect below.

Farris-Visnich’s parental rights to the victim were terminated 10 years ago. Farris-Visnich lists her address as homeless and has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. She also is known to engage in prostitution in the area of Independence Avenue. She is known to frequent area homeless shelters. She was last known to be staying at 809 S. McCoy St., Independence, Mo. Police checked that home on September 13 with no results.

Police got back on Farris-Visnich’s trail September 11 when she used the last of her food stamp funds at the Cosentino’s grocery store at 13th and Main streets Downtown.

The victim, Dominique R. Stout, uses an alias of Dominique Brown and is a 15-year-old white female with red/auburn hair and blue eyes. She is 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. The suspect, Melissa Farris-Visnich, is a 32-year-old white female with long brown hair and hazel eyes. She is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. If you know the whereabouts of either Dominique Stout or Melissa Farris-Visnich, please call 911 or the TIPS Hotline, 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Victim from 54th and Bellefontaine homicide identified

Police have identified a teenager killed in a September 10 shooting near 54th and Bellefontaine as 18-year-old Cameron Washington of Kansas City, Mo.

At about 2:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, police were dispatched to Research Medical Center regarding several shootings victims in the emergency room. They learned that four people had been shot, all approximately between the ages of 18 and 20 years old. Washington was pronounced dead, and the other three had minor gunshot wounds. Police learned the crime scene was at a home at 54th and Bellefontaine. The victims reported they were sitting on the front porch when an unknown suspect or suspects came by and shot at them, striking all four of them. The victims provided no further suspect information.

Friends transported the victims to the hospital. When the victims’ family members arrived, they got into a disturbance with the friends. Three people were arrested on warrants unrelated to the disturbance.

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

Friday, September 11, 2009

Watch out for Tour of Missouri road closures Sunday

Kansas City Police want area residents to be aware of Downtown and Midtown road closures associated with the Tour of Missouri bicycle race Sunday.

Kansas City will be the seventh and final stage of the elite Tour of Missouri. The cyclists will race seven times around a 10.2-mile route that begins and ends at Crown Center. The route goes as far north as Berkeley Riverfront Park and as far south as 31st Street. A map of the route is above, and you can click on it to see a larger version.

Police will begin shutting down the entire route between 1:30 and 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Traffic intersecting the race route may be allowed across at various locations if officers determine bicyclists are out of the area and the crossing would be safe. Motorists are advised to stay well outside the perimeter of the race route unless they have a legitimate need to cross it. Most roads will re-open when the race is concluded. Longer closures may take place near the race’s staging area and finish line at Crown Center.

More than 120 officers and 30 police volunteers will be on hand for traffic control along the route. For more information about the race, go to .

KCPD boosts child safety seat enforcement Sept. 12-19


The Kansas City Missouri Police Department will join other law enforcement agencies Sept. 12-19 in an aggressive effort to ensure children are buckled up properly.

National Child Passenger Safety Week starts Saturday and will feature extra KCPD officers out enforcing child passenger safety laws to reduce fatalities and injuries to children. Missouri law requires all children younger than age 8 to be in an approved child safety or booster seat until they weigh at least 80 pounds or reach 4 feet 8 inches tall.

Car crashes are the No. 1 killer of children in America, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. During the last three years in Missouri, 56 children were killed and 437 more suffered disabling injuries from motor vehicle accidents.

The National Highway Safety Administration says that child safety seats reduce the risk of being killed in a car crash by 71 percent for an infant and 54 percent for a toddler. This is why all 50 states have laws that require the use of child safety restraints. Regular child safety seat and safety belt use is the single, most effective way to protect people and reduce fatalities in motor vehicle crashes.

“Kansas City Police care deeply about the safety of children, which is why you’ll see additional officers out September 12 through 19 cracking down on violators of child safety seat laws,” said KCPD Chief James Corwin.

For more information on Missouri seat belt usage, visit

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Police Athletic League hosts Punt, Pass and Kick contest tomorrow


The Police Athletic League of Kansas City will host the NFL Pepsi Punt Pass and Kick Competition on Friday.

Young pro football fans will have the opportunity to exhibit their football skills when PAL hosts the competition at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Sept. 11, at 1801 White, Kansas City, Mo.

The competition is free and open to boys and girls ages 8-15. For competition information, call Sgt. Martin Cobbinah at 816-668-6591 or P.O. Daniel Watson at 816-719-8450. Entry forms also are available from the PAL Center at 1801 White.

The NFL Pepsi Punt, Pass, and Kick football competition allows youngsters to showcase their talent in punting, passing, and kicking with scores based on distance and accuracy. Age classifications are as of December 31 of the current year.

The top finishers from each of eight age groups at the local competition will advance to a Sectional Competition. The winners at Sectional Competition will have their scores compared with other Sectional champions; the top five scores from the pool of Sectional champions advance to the Team Championships.

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Kansas City Police release audits on pager use, Fugitive Apprehension staffing


The Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s Internal Audit Unit released two audits today, one regarding the use of department cell phones and pagers and another about staffing needs in the Fugitive Apprehension and Arraignment Section.

Internal auditors discovered that the department had been paying nearly $17,000 annually for 229 pagers that were no longer in use. The audit recommended better tracking of these pagers and reducing their use as much as possible. Since November 2008, the department has reduced the number of pagers used by 24 percent. The audit also pointed out that the department funds 519 cell phones at a cost of $218,400 a year. Another 39 cell phones are funded by grants. The audit found little issue with cell phone usage and pointed out that the Fiscal Division commander addresses any questionable charges.

The other audit addressed a recommendation from a department task force that stated two additional detectives in the Fugitive Apprehension and Arraignment Section could result in more than 670 additional warrants served a year. The audit found this calculation was incorrect and recommended another model for predicting staffing needs.

The full audit reports are available here.

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Citizen Satisfaction Survey results

I was very pleased to review the scores police received on the city’s most recent Citizen Satisfaction Survey: 62 percent of respondents said they were satisfied or very satisfied with overall quality of police protection, up 2 percentage points from the previous year. Another 49 percent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the visibility of police in neighborhoods, up 5 percentage points from last year.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to see numbers much higher than this, but we are steadily working toward that goal. Consider that in 2005, just 52 percent of Kansas Citians said they were satisfied with the overall quality of police protection. We have increased that number 10 percentage points since then, and it’s no accident.

During my tenure as Chief, we have embraced a data-driven approach to policing. This process identifies some of our biggest crime issues and areas and allocates resources to fight those specific problems. We also did a sweeping audit of all the department’s processes and formed eight task forces to implement the recommendations of the audit through the Blueprint for the Future initiative. Furthermore, we increased manpower to get more officers on the street, something which is becoming more and more difficult in these tough budget times.

But above all these things, we have adhered to the concept of community policing. The U.S. Department of Justice defines this as “a philosophy that promotes organizational strategies, which support the systematic use of partnerships and problem-solving techniques, to proactively address the immediate conditions that give rise to public safety issues such as crime, social disorder, and fear of crime.” The Department of Justice recognized our efforts and scored us as one of the
best community-policing agencies in the country during the recent Recovery Act grant process. More than data or audits, our primary goal is to serve and protect the people of Kansas City.

In 2007, we adopted a new strategic plan that had goals of increasing our Citizen Satisfaction Survey scores by 2 percent annually. We’re right on track with achieving this goal. I want to thank the men and women of this department for dedicating themselves to addressing the concerns of the people who call Kansas City home. I assure you that we will not let up until these survey scores are higher, more people feel safe and more are satisfied with overall police protection.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Agenda for Sept. 10 Board of Police Commissioners business meeting

1. Scheduled Meetings:

Board Meetings:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
9:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Business Session:

Thursday, October 8, 2009
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

Audit Committee Meeting:

Thursday, September 10, 2009
11:00 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

2. Approval of Minutes

a. August 13, 2009 Business Session.

3. Ms. I. Pearl Fain – Office of Community Complaints.
a. General Discussion.

4. Chief James Corwin.

a. Blueprint Discussion.
b. FY 10 Budget Implementation Update.
c. Jail Consolidation.
d. Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax (COMBAT) Resolution.
e. General Discussion.

5. Deputy Chief Nick Nichols – Executive Officer.
a. General Discussion.

6. Deputy Chief Cyril Ritter – Patrol Bureau.
a. General Discussion.

7. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau.
a. General Discussion.

8. Deputy Chief Kevin Masters – Investigations Bureau.
a. General Discussion.

9. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte - Executive Services Bureau.
a. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2009- 10.
b. FY 2009 Forensic DNA Backlog Reduction Program.
c. U.S. Marshals Service Donation and Award.
d. General Discussion.

10. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. General Discussion.

11. Lisa S. Morris – Office of General Counsel.

12. Future Business Meeting Agenda Items.

13. Ms. Jennifer Atterbury.

14. Chief James Corwin.

15. Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

16. Commissioner Patrick McInerney.

17. Commissioner James B. Wilson.

18. Commissioner Karl Zobrist.

19. Commissioner Mark C. Thompson.

20. Motion to go into Closed Session.

21. Informational Items:
a. Health Insurance Consultant Recommendation.

Only a few more days to vote for Kansas City and help PAL

You only have a few more days to vote for Kansas City to help the Police Athletic League earn $15,000. Click here to vote for KC.

PAL could get the money if Kansas City gets the most votes in a mayoral fantasy football league by Friday, Sept. 11. Mayor Mark Funkhouser is competing 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 the Yahoo Mayoral Fantasy Football page 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.

If you've already voted once, you can vote again. So please go vote for Kansas City!

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Resolution for Homelessness Commission to come before City Council committee


A resolution to form a homelessness commission will come before the Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

The resolution is an outgrowth of a June 26 conference called From This Day Forward: Ending Homelessness in Kansas City, sponsored by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.

The resolution proposes a 30+-member task force composed of seven City Council members, Police Chief Jim Corwin, civic leaders and legal and social service experts who work with the homeless. The commission’s task will be to draft a 10-year plan to end homelessness, much like other cities have done. If the commission is approved by the full City Council, the plan should be completed by September 2010.

“The commission will study successful programs on homelessness nationwide and will examine existing services in Kansas City to make policy recommendations to city and county governments in this region,” said Dr. George Harris, who served as a co-chair of an earlier homelessness task force.

Since 2007, local United Way 211 calls indicate a 45-percent increase in the need for homelessness prevention services in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Chief Corwin began addressing the issue by facilitating a task force on homelessness beginning in 2007. The task force was composed of law enforcement and leaders of the judiciary, hospitals and homeless shelters.

“The task force was to encourage the development of improved alternative services to people on the streets who are guilty of no crime except poverty,” Dr. Harris said.

That task force planned the June 26 conference and concluded a formal Commission on Homelessness with political support would best be able to recommend policy changes with the goal of eliminating homelessness. That is what is being proposed in Wednesday’s Public Safety and Neighborhoods Committee meeting Wednesday. If approved by the Committee, the creation of a Homelessness Commission would later go up for a vote before the full City Council.

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Suspect killed in police shooting identified

At 7:50 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 6., a KCPD officer was dispatched on a noninjury accident at 113th and Sycamore streets. Another officer running radar eight blocks away joined the dispatched officer in case he needed back-up. Police saw a Jeep had crashed into a tree. Witnesses told police that the driver got out of the Jeep carrying a handgun and walked north on Sycamore. Officers located the suspect in a park at 112th Terrace and Sycamore. Officers approached him in their vehicles. As they were exiting their cars, the suspect turned and shot at the officers. Officers returned fire, striking and killing him.

The suspect who was shot and killed by police has been identified as 36-year-old Exae Chavez-Gutierrez of Grandview, Mo.

The two officers involved in the shooting have 28 years and 13 years of law enforcement experience, respectively. They are currently on paid administrative leave, which is routine in all Kansas City Police shootings.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.
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Friday, September 4, 2009

Thanks for 43 years of service, Bob Turgeon

At the last Board of Police Commissioners meeting Aug. 25, an extremely dedicated public servant quietly retired from his position.

Robert Turgeon has been on the board of the Kansas City Police Employees’ Retirement System since June 12, 1966, most recently as treasurer. He was appointed by the Board of Police Commissioners that year and has been re-appointed every two years since. He has received a whopping $10 a month for his work. And all of it was in addition to his day job as owner of Turgeon Commercial Real Estate and Insurance.

The Retirement Board oversees both the KCPD’s police and civilian retirement systems, which at last check had about $629 million in total assets serving more than 1,100 retirees. The board consists of five elected members, two members appointed by the Board of Police Commissioners and two appointed by the Kansas City Council.

I want to thank Bob Turgeon for all his work for KCPD retirees these past 43 years. He is a true public servant. I also want to welcome aboard Pat Trysla, managing partner of Frontier Investment Banking Corp., who was appointed to replace Bob Turgeon.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Suspect wanted for hitting officer with motorcycle

Police are looking for this man, 25-year-old Franklin T. Atwell. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall with brown hair and green eyes. He was last known to be staying in the Gardner or Spring Hill, Kan., area. His parents live in Cleveland, Mo.

Atwell is wanted for assault on a law enforcement officer. On July 9, a group of motorcyclists was loitering at the Quik Trip at 9640 North Oak Trafficway. An officer asked them to disperse, and when they did not, he started asking to look at the bikers' identifications. When he approached one, the man tried to drive away. The officer tried to grab his arm when a second motorcyclist struck the officer from behind and knocked him over. The officer suffered minor injuries.

If you know the whereabouts of Franklin Atwell, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New bureau focuses on training and research

Until recently, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department was broken into four bureaus: Administration, Patrol, Investigations and Executive Services. (You can see our whole organizational structure on pages 8 and 9 of our 2008 Annual Report.) We've now added a fifth bureau: the Professional Development and Research Bureau. You can read all about it in this article from our September newsletter:

So important are training and being on the cutting edge of law enforcement trends that Chief James Corwin decided to create a new bureau devoted to them.

The new Professional Development and Research Bureau was established Aug. 23. It encompasses the Planning and Research Division, the Training Division and the remainder of the Blueprint for the Future project.

“Since I’ve been Chief, I’ve always talked about the importance of professional development and research,” Chief Corwin said. “It’s a natural fit with our training at the Academy. To really walk the talk, we raised it to the bureau level.”

Director Rick Brisbin, retired Chief of the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department and most recently executive officer of KCPD’s Administration Bureau, will lead the new bureau.

“This guy’s really talented,” Chief Corwin said of Director Brisbin. “He thinks totally outside of our box.”

Despite his new position, Director Brisbin will remain Director Brisbin. Chief Corwin said although it is unusual for someone without the rank of deputy chief to lead a bureau, “it doesn’t make any difference what we hang on our collars.” The department had no money for promotions this year other than sergeants, and they stuck to it with the creation of the new bureau.

For his part, Director Brisbin said he is splitting his days between his office in Headquarters and one at the Academy. The Academy no longer has a Major commanding it – Brisbin will be responsible for its full operation. He said he has several goals for it, including marketing its basic and advanced training capabilities to agencies across the region, and not just law enforcement. He thinks the private sector could benefit from KCPD-led courses, too. He also wants to build on the Leadership Academy.

“It’s our pearl, the next generation of training in the police business,” Brisbin said.

Chief Corwin said this eventually could include a partnership with a college or university.

As for the Planning and Research Division, Director Brisbin said the focus will shift more to research of emerging trends rather than periodic policy revisions. It will take on some of the characteristics of the Blueprint project, which involved a thorough audit of the department’s practices and task forces of hundreds who figured out how to make things better.

“Blueprint was really about research and critical introspection, and what cutting-edge police departments are doing,” Brisbin said. “So we thought, ‘How do we institutionalize that?’ It’s not research on a periodic or project basis. … We need to achieve a real balance between research and policies and procedures, which also are very important.”

Chief Corwin said he wants the creation of the bureau to send a message:

“We really mean that professional development and research are critical to this organization.”

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Officer recognized for catching bank robbers

Officer Kevin Growney has a knack for catching bank robbers, which is why I gave him a Certificate of Commendation last week.

The most recent incident took place on March 28, 2009, when a man walked into a bank in Brookside and handed over a business card with a written demand for all of the $100-, $50- and $20-dollar bills the teller had. He took off with $1,780. The teller reported the suspect’s appearance and what he was wearing, including a black raincoat.

Officer Kevin Growney was nearby when the call went out and immediately began canvassing the area for the suspect. A resident told Officer Growney that a man had been running through backyards near 65th and Wyandotte. He went to that area and observed a man walking down the street who was suspiciously dry, despite the heavy rain. When Officer Growney approached the man, he was very nervous and acted as though he had just physically exerted himself. Although he wasn’t wearing a raincoat, the rest of the description matched, and Officer Growney took him into custody on a traffic warrant. When officer Growney searched the suspect, he found $1,780 in his pants pocket. A subsequent canvass of the area found the man’s rain jacket and hat as well as a box cutter ditched behind a house in the 6400 block of Wyandotte. The suspect is now in federal prison awaiting trial.

But that wasn’t the first time Officer Growney tracked down a bank robbery suspect right after the robbery took place. Just 10 months earlier, on May 28, 2008, the Kansas City Fire Department Credit Union at 6320 Manchester was robbed. Callers reported the two armed suspects fled to a nearby apartment complex. Once again, Officer Growney was nearby and immediately started canvassing for suspects. He went to the apartments and saw two men acting suspiciously outside of a storage area. They resembled the physical description of the bank robbers, including black gloves. He took them into custody, and when the FBI arrived on scene, they found the bank’s bait money in the two men’s possession. Both were charged with federal bank robbery, and they also had outstanding felony and city warrants.

Captain Scott Caron said this kind of performance is normal for Officer Growney. He said, “He has the uncanny knack for placing himself in the right place to be near the action.”

Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said Officer Growney has been a consistent performer at the Metro Patrol Division for several years.

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