Friday, October 30, 2009

Police and Northland Neighborhoods Inc. present free trick-or-treat event

KCPD’s Shoal Creek Patrol Division and Northland Neighborhoods Inc. will sponsor their fifth annual Safe Trick-or-Treat event Saturday at Antioch Center.

The event will begin at 5 p.m. on Halloween and feature lots of candy, a haunted house, haunted forest, games and more. Safe Trick-or-Treat is free and open to children 12 and younger. It will be located on the west side of the mall near Vivion and Antioch roads. Signs will guide trick-or-treaters to the entrances. Once there, spooky witches and goblins will lead kids and parents to haunted houses, treats, popcorn and fun.

The haunted houses will be open from 5 to 8:30 p.m., and trick-or-treating will be from 5 to 9 p.m.

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Detective who was shot this morning should be OK

At 6:32 a.m. today, patrol officers were called to the Greyhound bus station at 11th and Troost on an assist-the-officer call.

Upon arrival, officers contacted detectives who were at the bus station. The detectives advised they had tried to stop a man who was acting suspicious. After contacting the man, a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the suspect's gun went off and struck one of the detectives in the leg. The suspect was taken into custody and was found to have two guns on him when stopped by detectives.

The detective who was shot was transported to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Teen helped catch fugitive and protect a restaurant full of people

On Tuesday, we presented a very brave young man with the Police Department's Certificate of Appreciation. Here is his story:

Rodney Simpson was just expecting to bring his girlfriend some dinner the night of July 19, 2009, but he ended up negotiating with a fugitive and protecting dozens of people from harm.

Earlier that evening, Leawood police discovered a stolen car in the Wal-Mart parking lot near 135th Street and State Line Road. Kansas City Police came to assist and found stolen guns and drugs inside the stolen car. When the two occupants of the stolen car – a man and a woman – exited Wal-Mart, they saw police, and the man fled on foot. He ran to the nearby Hardee’s and into the women’s restroom.

Mr. Simpson was not aware any of this had occurred as he drove at about 8 p.m. to bring food to his girlfriend, who worked at the Hardee’s. He did see several police on nearby roads and the police helicopter overhead and figured they were looking for someone. When he entered the Hardee’s, he heard screaming by the restrooms and saw female Hardee’s employees yelling at the man they’d found in the women’s restroom. They were screaming at him to get out. Mr. Simpson immediately walked up to the ruckus. The suspect raised both fists and prepared to fight him, but Mr. Simpson told the suspect to calm down. The suspect told Mr. Simpson that he had to make the Hardee’s employees stop yelling at him, because if Mr. Simpson didn’t, than the suspect would.

Mr. Simpson quickly calmed everyone down and began talking with the suspect. The suspect told Mr. Simpson the police were looking for him and offered Mr. Simpson money to drive him away from the area. The suspect asked to use a cell phone, and Mr. Simpson lent him his. He convinced the suspect to go back in the restroom. Mr. Simpson told him police were everywhere, and it would be best to just lock himself in the bathroom until the area was clear.

After Mr. Simpson persuaded the suspect to go back into the restroom, he convinced all of the customers and employees to evacuate the restaurant. Once everyone was safely outside, Mr. Simpson called 911 and flagged down nearby police officers. Police took the convicted felon into custody without incident and found a loaded handgun in the bathroom stall he’d been hiding in.

Major Cheryl Rose said that although he is just 18 years old, Mr. Simpson’s quick thinking and bravery undoubtedly kept a situation from becoming violent. And Captain Michael Perne said, “Mr. Simpson’s courage goes far beyond what most people in his situation would have done. He put the safety of the other citizens before his own and should be commended.”

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update on Waldo rapes

A blog commenter requested an update on the case of the recent Waldo rapes. Unfortunately, there has been little new information. Here's what we know:

The Sex Crimes Section is investigating two rapes in the Waldo area that are very similar. The first occurred on Sept. 29 in the 7500 block of Summit and the second on Oct. 11 in the 100 block of East 78th Terrace. Both happened between midnight and 3 a.m. The victims were awakened by a male suspect and subsequently raped. Detectives are pursuing possible leads and other investigative avenues. Patrol Officers have increased their presence in the area.

The suspect is described as possibly being a black male with a deep voice. One victim thought he smelled like smoke. Please contact the Sex Crimes Section (234-5220) or the TIPS Hotline (474-8477) if you have any information that may help identify the suspect.

We encourage everyone to continue to utilize crime prevention techniques like locking doors and windows, maintaining adequate lighting, and cutting back plants, trees and bushes that might obstruct views and provide hiding spots. Most importantly people need to look out for each other and call 911 if they see anything suspicious. Police can help with security surveys of your property. Please contact your nearest Patrol Division for this service.

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After clearing 100 cases, Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad gets grant to continue


The successful Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad has been awarded nearly $500,000 to continue their work for another year.

The half-million-dollar Solving Cold Cases with DNA grant from the National Institute of Justice funds the Squad, which started their work in January 2008. The Board of Police Commissioners approved receipt of the grant at their Oct. 27 meeting.

Since January 2008, the Squad has reviewed 647 cases and cleared 100 of them with the help of the Kansas City Regional Crime Lab. Some of the most notable cases cleared by the Squad include:

* Kevin L. Hayslett committed at least 10 rapes between 2001 and 2003. He sought out vulnerable women, usually forcing them into his car and taking them to a secluded area where he attacked and raped them. He always was armed during the attacks. He was convicted of 10 counts of rape and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

* In August 1992, a man and woman walking home were attacked by a group of four men. The men forced the couple into their home and came in with them. Each of the four men took turns raping the woman while holding the man at gunpoint. They also stole electronics and the male victim’s car keys. Now, all four of the men have been indentified, charged and convicted. Elbert J. Hicks and Marcus N. Mitchell received 25-year sentences; Terrence Curry was sentenced to 30 years in prison, and on Oct. 16, 2009, Kevin E. Hicks received a 45-year sentence.

* Samuel S. Johnson was charged with five rapes that occurred during the summer of 1982 in and around Westport. He broke into women’s apartments and raped them. He had almost finished a 30-year prison sentence for another 1982 Westport rape when the new charges were filed. He died in jail awaiting trial for the five new charges.

Captain Mark Folsom, commander of KCPD’s Special Victims Unit, said that after 100 cases solved, he looks forward to the Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad’s continued success.

"This grant means we can continue to get long-awaited justice for the victims of these heinous crimes," he said.

Since January 2008, the Sex Crimes Cold Case Squad filed charges in 29 cases, and another 71 were cleared by exceptional means. Exceptional clearance means the suspect was identified, located, and there was sufficient evidence to prosecute, but the prosecution could not go forward because of exceptional reasons. Some of the most common include the suspect being deceased; the suspect being incarcerated elsewhere and ineligible for extradition; or the victim refusing to cooperate in prosecution.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Highlights of today's Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

Highlights of the Oct. 27, 2009, Kansas City Missouri Board of Police Commissioners Meeting

* MGT of America presented the results a study commissioned by the Board to review the Department’s mandatory retirement policy. This policy requires law enforcement officers to retire after 30 years of service and has been in place since 1956. MGT consultants said in police departments nationwide, mandatory retirement ages are becoming a thing of the past. They said chronological age is a poor predictor of physical capabilities. Commissioners had expressed concern that extending the retirement age might lead to stagnation in the ranks and lower morale. MGT surveyed KCPD’s approximately 1,400 law enforcement members and received about 1,100 responses. They concluded “a majority were at least indifferent to the idea of extending the retirement age, if not open to changes in the retirement policy, provided there is also a possibility of a corresponding increase in retirement benefits.” The study also concluded that members’ concerns about the promotional process could be tempered by requiring set years of service before an officer could become a sergeant or captain. MGT consultants recommended that KCPD adopt a comprehensive wellness program and possibly implement physical testing. The commissioners said the study gave them several options to consider, which they will continue to do over the next several months. They said they also will consider the effect of officers working longer on the fiscal health of the law enforcement retirement system.

* Chief James Corwin said he will be working to put together a committee that will be tasked with getting the Public Safety Sales Tax renewal on the April 2010 ballot. The committee would include City Council members and members of the Board of Police Commissioners. The current sales tax, which was approved by voters in 2002, is set to sunset in June 2011. It funds capital improvements for the police department.

* Chief Corwin also discussed KCPD providing security for the Municipal Court. He said officers used to be called to every court appearance, even though many cases were simply continued, and the officers could have been putting their time to better use. Now, they only appear in municipal court when testimony will take place in a case. The end result was that far fewer officers were in the municipal court at any given time, which caused the presiding judge to be concerned about court security. A private security company provides security at the entrances, but no armed guards are present in the court rooms. The U.S. Marshal’s Office conducted a study and found that to adequately provide security at the court, the cost would be $500,000 annually. Chief Corwin said he is waiting on a final operational plan, but preliminarily, a traffic squad will be taken off the street to provide court security as well as supplement the Downtown Footbeat officers. Commissioner Patrick McInerney said he was concerned about trained traffic officers being used for court security purposes and was worried police might be called upon to provide security at other city facilities. Mayor Mark Funkhouser and Chief Corwin said they would try to seek resources to both provide security and keep officers on the street.

* During public comments, the family of Charles McNeil, who was found dead in a car in June 2008, asked police to reopen their loved one’s case. The death had been ruled a suicide by a former medical examiner, but the family asked police to investigate it as a homicide. Board Vice President Karl Zobrist asked Chief Corwin to designate someone to look into the investigation and keep the board and family abreast of its progress.

* Deputy Chief Cy Ritter said that despite the police force being down by 91 officers (48 vacancies and 43 who are sick, injured or on military leave), police continued to meet response-time goals in September with a median response time of 6.19 minutes. He said geographically large, suburban, patrol divisions like Shoal Creek Patrol are particularly down officers, and thus have higher response times. Shoal Creek’s median response time in September was 8.44 minutes.

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Police seek bank robber

At 10:49 a.m. today, Oct. 27, Bank Midwest at 1111 Main St. was robbed, and police are seeking the suspect, captured on surveillance camera above.

The suspect was milling around the lobby area of the bank when the teller asked him if he had any business to conduct. He approached the teller's window, took a folded napkin from his pocket and unfolded it. He took a hand-written note out of the napkin and held it out to her. The note said to "give me the money". In an effort to stall him, she asked him what denominations he wanted. He said hundreds, so she gave him the money in a white bank envelope. He turned and calmly exited through the revolving doors onto Main Street.

If you have any information, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Monday, October 26, 2009

Chicago man identified as murder victim

At about 7:48 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, officers were called to the 5200 block of Truman Road on the sound of shots fired. Upon arrival, officers located a man suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Miguel A. Grimaldo, an Hispanic male of Chicago, Ill. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Police investigating possible murder-suicide

At about 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Oct. 25, police were called to a home in the 5400 block of Ridgeway to check the welfare of two people whom relatives hadn't seen for nearly two weeks. Police found two people dead inside the home, 73-year-old Patricia A. Kuder, a white female, and 53-year-old Michael Roscher, a white male. Both lived in the home, and Patricia was Michael's mother.

A final determination has not been made on the manner of death, but preliminarily it is being investigated as a murder-suicide.

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Friday, October 23, 2009

2009 fatal crash statistics

Last week, I mentioned that fatal vehicle crashes in Kansas City are up 15 percent over this time last year with 60 people dead. We've just gotten the statistics for those fatalities through the end of September (at which point we'd had 57 people die in crashes).

Some of the most telling are these:

* 71 percent of people who died were not wearing seat belts.
* 67 percent of the crashes involved people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

It's frustrating to think how many lives would have been saved had people taken the simple steps of buckling a seat belt and/or designating a sober driver. So much pain and tragedy could have been prevented.

Other statistics on those who died in vehicle crashes this year include:

- 82 percent were male, 18 percent female
- 47 percent were white, 44 percent black and 9 percent Hispanic
- A third of all the people who died were between the ages of 30 and 39
- 23 percent of those killed were on a motorcycle
- 16 percent were pedestrians
- 32 percent were ejected from their vehicles
- 25 percent of the crashes occurred on a highway - the rest were on city streets.

I've said it before, and I will keep saying it. Please be careful. Wear your seat belt and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. This is about life and death.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Police warn of scammer claiming to be from Water Department

Kansas City Police are warning residents to be wary of a scam in which suspects claiming to be with the Kansas City, Mo., Water Services Department call victims and ask for account numbers.

The South Patrol Division alone has had five cases in the past week, and the Fraud Section is investigating about a dozen.

The scam involves someone calling residents, claiming to work for the Kansas City Missouri Water Department. The scammer says the residents either didn’t sign their checks or didn’t pay their bill at all and will be charged a fee of $40 unless payment is made over the phone. The scammer then asks for a credit or debit card number to satisfy the amount due. Some victims reported that the caller was female.

While some people have fallen victim to the scheme, detectives said others have not. Some have checked their check duplicates to ensure they signed, others said they didn’t pay by check at all and one couple checked with their bank to see that the check had cleared and hung up on the caller. Unfortunately, others have lost as much as $900.

The Kansas City Water Services Department offers the following tips to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:

- If the City contacts you, the caller ID will never be blocked.
- Customers can call 3-1-1 anytime to verify any solicitation regarding City water services.
- Waiving of fees or "special deals" are never offered.
- City employees always wear ID badges and will give you the name and number of their supervisor when asked.
- Customers should call 311 (or 911 if in an emergency situation) to report concerns.
- Customers should never give, to anyone who initiates contact with you, your credit card number, bank account number, date of birth, social security number or water account number.
- Customers should not send cash, check or money order by messenger or overnight mail, when asked to by a telephone seller or caller you do not know.
- Customers should never provide personal information over the phone, through the mail or over the Internet, unless you initiated the transaction and you know the person or institution receiving the information.

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Agenda for Oct. 27 Board of Police Commissioners meeting

Board of Police Commissioners Meeting
Agenda – Tuesday, October 27, 2009

9:00 a.m. – 6th Floor, Board Room

1. Call to Order – Invocation – Dr. Serita Wright

2. Awards and Commendations.

Certificate of Appreciation
Mr. Rodney Simpson

Special Unit Citation
Fleet Operations Unit

Meritorious Service Award
Officer Lynda Hacker

Meritorious Service Award
Officer Ronald Reilly

Meritorious Service Award
Sergeant Deborah Randol

Promotion to Supervisor
CSI Crime Scene Section
Civilian Melanie Bartch

3. Crime Commission Report
Retired Major Barry Mayer

4. Mandatory Retirement Policy Study Draft Report.
MGT of America, Inc.

5. Approval of Minutes, Regular Board Meeting,
September 22, 2009.

6. Mr. Gary White, City Auditor

a. Monthly Status Report.
b. KCPD Workers’ Compensation Scope Statement.
c. General Discussion.

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

8. CIMO Report.
Mr. Eric Bosch

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

a. General Discussion.

10. Chief James Corwin .
a. Jail Consolidation.
b. Public Safety Sales Tax Renewal.
c. General Discussion.

11. Deputy Chief Nick Nichols – Executive Officer.

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

12. Deputy Chief Cyril Ritter – Patrol Bureau.

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

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

14. Deputy Chief Rachel Whipple – Administration Bureau.
a. Personnel Summary.
b. Board Presentation by Group Health Benefits Consultant.
c. UCR Update.
d. General Discussion.

15. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte´ – Executive Services Bureau.(Tab J)
a. Award of Mobile Data Computer Grant for 2010.
b. Acceptance of the “Solving Cold Cases with DNA” Award.
c. Board Resolutions and Signature Cards.
d. Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
e. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
f. Budget Summary Report for September 2009.
g. Funding Gap Elimination Implementation Timeline.
h. Recovery Act Grant Summary.
i. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Port Security Grant Program Comparison Charts.
j. Budget Update FY 2010.

16. Director Rick Brisbin – Professional Development and Research Bureau.
a. Revision of Procedural Instruction 06-4, Towing/Protective Custody of Vehicles and Contents.
b. Revision of Procedural Instruction 07-4, Use of Force.
c. General Discussion.

17. Mr. Daniel J. Haus, Office of General Counsel.
a. Private Officers License Appeal, Christopher Perkins.

18. Public Comments*

19. Scheduled Meetings:

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

Business Session:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009
8:30 a.m., 6th Floor, Board Room

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.

28. Informational Items

a. Academy Campus Usage Reports
b. September 2009 News Coverage.
c. KCPD Grant Summary 10/13/09.
d. Donated Property Summary Report.
e. Status of Public Safety Sales Tax at the end of September.
f. Jackson County/KCPD Jail Consolidation Update.
g. Proposed Procedural Instruction, Tiburon Computer System ARS/RMS.
h. Project #376, Changes to Personnel Policy 320, Legal Restrictions Affecting Performance of Duty.
i. Procedural Instruction 03-14, Update of DRAGNET Reports.
j. Project #380, Revision of Procedural Instruction 05-01, Use of Department and Private Vehicles.

*The Board will hear Public Comments between 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. unless other matters are required to be considered at that time. Anyone wanting to speak during the Public Comment portion of the meeting is requested to sign in on the “Public Comment Sign-In Sheet” located at the Board room entrance. The Board will hear from members of the public in the order in which they sign the “Public Comment Sign-In Sheet.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Woman found murdered in her home identified

At about 3:02 a.m. today, Oct. 21, officers were dispatched to the 2900 block of Poplar on an ambulance call. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the calling party, who discovered a white female deceased in the house. The victim has been identified as 64-year-old Sharon Bundy of Kansas City, Mo. Detectives are investigating the death as a homicide. They are following up on leads and ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Ms. Bundy's killing is Kansas City's 92nd homicide of 2009, compared to 109 at this date in 2008.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Homicide update

We've got our daily homicide analysis back up on our web site, and you can see it here. Here is some of the basic information:

Year-to-date homicides:

2009 - 91
2008 - 109
2007 - 84
2006 - 78

2009 homicides cleared: 52 %
Ten cases are being reviewed at the prosecutor's office. If you include those, our 2009 homicide clearance rate is about 63 percent.

And here's a breakdown geographically by patrol division of homicides this year:

Central: 31
Metro: 22
East: 29 North: 0
South: 7
Shoal Creek: 2

If you know anything about any of these homicides, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

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Friday, October 16, 2009

KCPD invites church leaders to Nov. 19 forum


Kansas City Missouri Police are engaging area church leaders to reduce crime and increase quality of life in the community.

The Faith-Based Community and Police Forum will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Nov. 19 in the auditorium of the Kansas City Regional Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road. Leaders of all Kansas City, Mo., churches are invited. Before attending, church leaders should fill out this questionnaire
by Nov. 6. These answers will guide the discussion. That questionnaire can be submitted by e-mail to, or faxed to 816-413-8007. KCPD Chaplains and leaders of the Community Justice Program Unit of the City Manager’s Office also will be present at the Forum.

The Faith-Based Community and Police Forum is part of Chief James Corwin’s plan to address crime in the community holistically.

“As police, we can’t arrest our way out of every problem,” Chief Corwin said. “We need to partner with community members who can bring about societal change, and the faith-based community has the power to do that.”

The Forum aims to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the community. It also will try to bring about a better understanding of impediments to communication, trust and partnerships between the two. It further will try to build on current successful initiatives.

After the Forum, church leaders will be invited to meet with Police Department division commanders and staff to discuss issues in their neighborhood, ideas for programs or set up future meeting times.

KCPD now offering Women’s Personal Safety Seminars starting Nov. 14


The Kansas City Missouri Police Department is now offering Women’s Personal Safety Seminars monthly, with the first to be Nov. 14 at the Police Academy, 6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road.

The four-hour class focuses on awareness, prevention, streetwise caution and self defense. Kansas City Police Academy instructors and other KCPD officers teach the class, which features hands-on activities and question-and-answer sessions.

Women can register now for either the Nov. 14 or Dec. 12 class. You must be at least 12 years old to participate. The course will run from 8 a.m. to noon on both dates, and the cost is $25. Registration information is below. Preregistration is required. Police plan to continue offering the class on the second Saturday of every month into 2010.

The course will cover many topics, including: self defense techniques; identity theft prevention; and safety tips for the home, car, purses, shopping, exercising and more. Women from throughout the Kansas City metro area are invited to participate.

KCPD also welcomes organizations who would be willing to sponsor individual women or groups of women to attend the class. For more information about sponsorships, please contact Captain Chelly Pfeifer at 816-413-3416.

To register, women should fill out
this form and return it with a check or money order (should be made out to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners) to:

Angela McCune
Kansas City Police Academy
6885 N.E. Pleasant Valley Road
Kansas City, MO 64119

Women with questions about the seminar should call 816-413-3500.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Motor vehicle fatalities

Earlier this year, I talked about the troubling rise in fatalities from motor vehicle crashes. It started to slow down for a while during the summer, but as of 5:30 p.m. today, Kansas City has seen 60 people die in automobile crashes this year, versus 52 at the same time last year. That's a 15 percent increase, and something we should all prevent from getting any higher.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

KCPD and Westside CAN Center to receive MetLife Foundation/LISC award


The Westside Community Action Network Center (WCAN) and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department (KCPD) will be honored tomorrow with a MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award for extraordinary achievements in improving safety and strengthening community-police relations.

The Award, sponsored by MetLife Foundation and administered by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), recognizes partnerships between community development groups and police departments that have reduced crime and spurred housing development, economic activity, and improved community services in low- and moderate-income communities. WCAN was the winner in the “Diversity Inclusion and Integration” category, and was selected for the honor from more than 650 applicants nationwide. As part of WCAN’s annual celebration event, which takes place tomorrow, MetLife Managing Director J. Paul Hurt will present a $15,000 award to the Kansas City partners.

“Crime is a significant threat to sustained neighborhood revitalization,” said Dennis White, president and CEO of MetLife Foundation. “The Westside CAN Center and the Kansas City Missouri Police Department provide an exemplary model of partnership to reduce crime and spur revitalization, and we are pleased to join LISC in recognizing their achievements and sharing their model.”

The Westside CAN Center and the KCPD tackled complex safety concerns stemming from the concentration of Latino day laborers in the Westside area. Through coordinated problem-solving, they sifted through a variety of actual crime risks surrounding ad-hoc day laborer hiring sites, as well as negative perceptions about the Latino immigrant community, and used the insights they gained to help guide the specific action steps taken. They began with outreach and services for the laborers and progressed to the development of a full-scale day laborer pickup and drop-in center, which has successfully addressed community concerns about violence, disorder and crime. The KCPD’s close involvement in the planning and ongoing management of the Center has received national attention, and has helped build bridges between the Latino immigrant community and law enforcement while also addressing neighborhood safety. Crime in the neighborhood went down by over 50% within the first year of the effort.

“Every day, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department draws on partnerships with community organizations, residents and businesses to resolve crime problems,” said Chief Jim Corwin. “The efforts being recognized by LISC and MetLife Foundation are a great example of how we can make neighborhoods safer, better places to live by collaborating.”

Julie Porter, executive director of Greater Kansas City LISC, noted that this is the third MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award earned in Kansas City since 2006. “History has shown that collaboration between community developers and police can yield tremendous results in neighborhoods,” said Porter. “We are thrilled to join MetLife Foundation in recognizing the KCPD’s continued leadership in community policing, as well as the creative work of the Westside CAN Center in making the Westside a better place to live and work.”

Teen killed at 29th & Indiana identified

At 2:23 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, police were called to 29th and Indiana in regard to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a black male on the sidewalk suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. The victim has been identified as 19-year-old Lorne Mabon of Kansas City, Mo.

Witnesses observed a black male fleeing on foot immediately after the shooting. Anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

Lorne Mabon's is the 91st homicide of 2009, compared to 103 at this date in 2008 and 83 in 2007.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beyond the Cuffs initiative aims to clean up Prospect Avenue


Kansas City Police are partnering with area organizations and businesses to address the problems of addiction, prostitution and homelessness on Prospect Avenue.

The inaugural Beyond the Cuffs initiative kicks off today with volunteers from area churches, social service organizations and health care providers as well as East Patrol, Central Patrol and Mounted Patrol officers canvassing Prospect Avenue from 21st to 29th streets, handing out information about a Friday event.

Friday’s community outreach event will feature everything from a free meal to free HIV testing and free detoxification services. Because all services offered will be private, the event’s location will not be disclosed.

“Basically, we’ve tried all the traditional law enforcement methods to fix the problems centered around 27th and Prospect,” said Captain Jeff Emery of the East Patrol Division. “But you’re dealing with people with drug addictions and health problems.”

Tonya Tota, Chair of the Beyond the Cuffs initiative, said that through working with police, she and others realized the need to bring services to people after their arrest, court date and incarceration.

“A lot of times people are wondering, ‘Why aren’t the police getting them off the street?’” Tota said. “They are. They’re doing their job, and now it’s time for us to do ours. We’re bringing our services to those most in need. We’re coming to them at street level.”

Friday’s event targets drug and alcohol addicts, youth, those working in the sex industry, the homeless and homeless veterans, in particular. They will be offered transportation to rehabilitation facilities, where free beds and treatment will be awaiting them. Free testing for numerous sexually transmitted diseases will be available, and doctors and addiction counselors will be on site to assist. Social service agencies also will be there to plug participants into programs that can help them.

“The goal is to make the Prospect neighborhood self-sustaining and increase the quality of life there,” Tota said.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Man who assaulted officers set to be sentenced tomorrow morning

UPDATE: Thomas Fitzwater's sentencing hearing has been rescheduled for Nov. 19.


A man who pleaded guilty to assaulting two KCPD officers and skipped out on his original sentencing date is again set to be sentenced at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow, Oct. 13, in Division 15 at the Jackson County Courthouse.

On Sept. 18, 2006, two officers said they saw Thomas Fitzwater run a red light and T-bone a car. The officers caught up to Fitzwater at 31st and Main streets. Officer Steven Bloch and his partner said Fitzwater turned his truck toward their police car, struck them, and plowed their car into the Bank of America building. The officers were hurt but managed to get out of the car and arrest Fitzwater. Fitzwater was intoxicated and had drugs in his pocket. He also was out parole for a first-degree assault charge when the wreck occurred.

Fitzwater, 46, pleaded guilty on June 29, 2009, to two felony counts of second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer, felony resisting arrest and felony possession of a controlled substance. He had posted bond and was set to be sentenced Aug. 24, but he didn’t show up. He was later arrested on a warrant for failure to appear, but he posted a $50,000 cash bond on Oct. 6 and was released again.

Fitzwater faces 5 to 15 years in prison for each count of assault on a law enforcement officer.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Latest edition of Informant newsletter goes pink

The latest edition of our monthly Department newsletter, the Informant, is now available online. You'll see that this month's is a special pink edition in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. One article profiles a couple of KCPD staffers who have overcome the disease, and another section features tributes from department members and retirees to loved ones who have battled with breast cancer. Everyone who submitted a tribute also made a donation to the Susan G. Komen Foundation in Kansas City, and we raised $515 to help find a cure.

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Thursday, October 8, 2009

Teen found dead at 4005 St. John

At 11:10 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7, officers were called to 4005 St. John to investigate a shooting. When they arrived, they discovered a male lying in the street with a gunshot wound and no signs of life. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim has been identified as 18-year-old Rodney S. Coleman of Kansas City, Mo. There are no suspects in custody, and anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477 (TIPS).

Mr. Coleman's homicide is the 90th of 2009, compared to 103 at this time in 2008.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Police seek missing man from Colorado

UPDATE: Timothy Drisko was located in Platte County in good condition.

Kansas City Police are looking for 53-year-old Timothy Drisko, a man from Colorado who was in Kansas City on family business. He hasn't been seen or heard from since Friday, Oct. 3. Mr. Drisko was last seen around the Interstate 29-Barry Road corridor. He is a white male with brown hair and blue eyes who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds.

His family is concerned for his safety. If you have any information about Timothy Drisko's whereabouts, please call the Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136 or 911.

KCPD detective named 2009 Kansas City Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year

The Crime Stoppers Officer of the Year Award is presented each year to a Kansas City metro-area officer for outstanding career achievement in investigations. This year’s winner was chosen by a volunteer panel of Crime Stoppers Board of Directors members from five finalists and announced at the organization's annual luncheon yesterday. The winner: KCPD Detective James Svoboda.
Detective Svoboda joined KCPD in June 1987, and has since served as a district officer, Tactical Response Team member, Narcotics and Vice Unit detective, undercover detective in the Drug Enforcement Unit, Gang Unit detective, and currently is assigned to the Drug Enforcement Unit - FBI Violent Crimes Task Force.

During his 22 years of active service, Detective Svoboda has received KCPD’s Distinguished Service Medal, Certificate of Commendation, and numerous Letters of Commendation from Chiefs of Police. Since his assignment to the FBI Task Force, this he has been involved in several significant investigations to include federal Title III (wire intercept) investigations as well as serving as a liaison between the KCPD and the FBI, assisting state and municipal law enforcement agencies and working closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In November 2004, Detective Svoboda investigated the drug-related double homicide of a husband and wife in Kansas City, Mo., that was unsolved. He developed an informant, who subsequently got critical information from a suspect who was in custody on an unrelated drug charge. Ultimately, a confession was obtained, and two suspects were found guilty in federal court.

In January 2006, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force, of which Detective Svoboda is a part, started investigating a career narcotics trafficker that had plagued the KC Metro area for more than 20 years. The suspect had been involved with an organized drug and money-laundering ring with ties to California, Arizona and Mexico. Detective Svoboda, through the use of a federal wire intercept of the suspect’s phones, developed the suspect’s narcotics source and method of operation, which involved the mailing of narcotics to the KC area through the U.S. Postal Service. The case just concluded in August 2009 with 32 suspects federally indicted on multiple counts of trafficking and money laundering. Seizures in California led to the recovery of 1,000 units of ecstasy pills with a street value of $15,000. In Arizona, 140 pounds of high-grade marijuana was recovered with a street value of $168,000. The primary suspect is facing a minimum 25-year sentence.

The investigation also led to the seizure of more than $300,000 in cash, real estate, a Cessna airplane, several firearms and three vehicles purchased with illicit funds. The arrest of the primary suspect disrupted a major narcotics pipeline into the Kansas City area, and the investigation continues to yield additional federal indictments.

For his work in these investigations and others over his 22+ year career, the Kansas City Crime Stoppers selected Detective James Svoboda as the 2009 Officer of the Year.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Agenda for tomorrow's Board of Police Commissioners business meeting

Board of Police Commissioners
Business Session Meeting
Agenda –Thursday, October 8, 2009

8:30 a.m. – 6th Floor Board Room

1. Scheduled Meetings:

Board Meetings:

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

Business Session:

Set November meeting.

2. Approval of Minutes, September 10, 2009.

3. Kansas City Police Employees Retirement System- Funding Liability.
Mr. Jim Pyle
Mr. Gary Howell

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

5. Chief James Corwin.

a. FY 10 Budget Implementation Update.
b. Jail Consolidation.
c. General Discussion.

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

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

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

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

10. Deputy Chief Darryl Forte - Executive Services Bureau.
a. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2009-10.
b. General Discussion.

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

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

13. Future Business Meeting Agenda Items.

14. Ms. Mischa Buford Epps.

13. 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.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Violent crimes initiative leads to capture of murder suspect

A nice finish to our violent crimes initiative last week was the capture of 30-year-old Ronald Taylor, who has now been charged with the murder of 27-year-old William E. Harmon on April 5, 2009. Taylor's picture is above.

The homicide happened at 1210 ½ Independence Ave at about 3:18 a.m. that day. Witnesses reported they had been drinking and doing drugs when they heard shots in another room, and all of them fled the apartment, including the suspect, Ronald Taylor. Police found the apartment abandoned with Harmon’s body left inside. Taylor had been on the run for nearly six months until he was apprehended Thursday, Oct. 1, as 200 officers fanned out through the city seeking information in three other unsolved murders.

Taylor has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action in Harmon’s death. He is being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Golfers welcome at tourney to benefit former Major’s scholarship foundation


A golf tournament to benefit the scholarship foundation of a Kansas City Police major killed in a car crash will begin at 9 a.m. tomorrow.

The inaugural Major Darrell Chism: A Change Is Going to Come Scholarship Foundation Golf Tournament starts at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the Swope Park Memorial Golf Course in Kansas City, Mo. The tournament features a four-person format, with the cost for each player at $95. Golfers are welcome to show up for the tourney tomorrow morning.

Major Darrell Chism was killed in a car crash in December 2007. The Scholarship Foundation in his memory is a component of the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

For more information, click on the flier.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updated Violent Crime Initiative stats

UPDATE: We got a little more information about the results of the sweep I wanted to share. Through the course of this three-day operation, police got new leads and/or conducted additional interviews in eight unsolved homicide cases and seven unsolved shootings.

Yesterday, I gave totals at a press conference of what our two-day Violent Crimes Initiative has accomplished. Since that time, more arrests, drugs and cleared warrants have rolled in, and I wanted to update you. Here is a spreadsheet of everything this operation has accomplished so far (Remember, we're out canvassing for information in three unsolved homicides today, so it's not over yet.):

Violent Crime Initiative stats

Some highlights:
231 warrants cleared
93 new arrests
$97,328.60 worth of street-value narcotics recovered
$11,071 in U.S. currency recovered
$60,000 worth of stolen property recovered
40 illegal handguns recovered

In addition, here is a map of the areas we targeted during this operation. The red splotches are 2009 high-density disturbance calls, the black dots are 2009 homicides and the blue dots are 2009 drive-by shootings.

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Police seek missing man who loved ones say is suicidal

UPDATE: Mr. Hernandez has been found safe at a local hospital.

Police are looking for 29-year-old Bernardo Hernandez Jr., an Hispanic male who is 5 feet 6 inches tall who has gone missing. He has black hair and brown eyes, and he may be driving a maroon 1992 Dodge Shadow Hatchback.

He recently made several suicidal statements and told friends and relatives, "good-bye." If you know where Bernardo is, call KCPD's Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136 or 911.