Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Kansas City Police join statewide impaired driving crackdown July 2-5

Law enforcement officers across Missouri will be cracking down on drunk driving with increased enforcement July 2-5. The Kansas City Missouri Police Department will be participating in this effort and will focus on reducing deaths and serious injuries caused by impaired drivers over the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

It’s never worth the risk to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Drivers could lose their license, pay large fines, or worst of all, cause a tragic loss of life. Consider some of the consequences:

-For the first conviction, or first conviction in over five years, your license will be suspended for 30 days followed by a 60 day suspension if a hardship license is not obtained.

-A second conviction results in a $1,000 fine, a year-long revocation of your license and up to a year in jail. You will also be required to install an ignition interlock system on your vehicle, preventing your car from starting when you have alcohol on your breath.

-Third and subsequent convictions can be penalized with up to a $5,000 fine, a 10 year license denial, and/or up to seven years in jail.

-If you cause a fatal crash with intoxicated, you could be charged with Involuntary Manslaughter, a felony resulting in up to seven years of jail time, a $5,000 fine or both.

-Insurance coverage will be difficult to find, and if you do, the rates will be significantly higher.

For more information on impaired driving visit

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Police seek man who seriously injured 66-year-old pedestrian in hit-and-run accident

At about 7 a.m. today, June 29, police were called to the 7600 block of East 109th Street on a hit-and-run crash involving a pedestrian. Officers found a 66-year-old woman in the grass with life-threatening injuries. She was transported to a local hospital, where she remains in intensive care.

A witness saw a silver or gray late 1980s, regular-cab pick-up truck driven by a 40- to 50-year-old white male flee the scene after the crash. The truck also should have front end damage. If you have any information, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Woman found dead in Swope Park identified

At about 7:14 a.m. Monday, June 28, officers were called to Gregory and Elmwood on a medical nature unknown call. The caller had observed a body in the park and called for medical assistance. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim deceased in the park near the baseball diamond. The woman has been identified as 51-year-old Dandreia L. Trent of Kansas City, Mo., and the case has been classified as a homicide. There are no suspects in custody and anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Monday, June 28, 2010

Forgery investigation leads to federal guilty plea

Last Thursday, a man from Clinton, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding businesses from three states of more than $242,000, including one in Kansas City that sustained more than $20,000 in losses. You can read the full story in the press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The release says that 34-year-old Jason M. Hendricks "engaged in a prolific scheme to obtain merchandise and gift cards with non-sufficient funds checks, counterfeit checks and checks written on closed accounts. Victims of the fraud scheme included at least 23 stores in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska that sustained $242,841 in total losses. Some of the merchandise was kept by Hendricks' friends and co-conspirators. Other merchandise was sold online."

Nebraska Furniture Mart was one of the biggest victims of the scheme. Another was Home Depot here in Kansas City. One of our forgery detectives worked with authorities in Harrisonville, Mo., to track down and return $20,000 in stolen merchandise that Hendricks was storing there. This was a major theft operation that resulted in a quarter-million-dollar loss for the businesses involved, and it took a lot of inter-agency cooperation to stop it. Hendricks faces up to 10 years in federal prison, a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. 

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Police to enforce crosswalk violations Downtown from June 28 - July 2


From June 28 to July 2, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department will increase their enforcement of crosswalk violations Downtown to raise awareness for pedestrians and motorists.

“The Police Department has seen an increase in pedestrian traffic in the Downtown area due to events that occur at the Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and Bartle Hall, and because of this increase, we feel that it is important to remind the members of our community that extra caution should be used when pedestrian traffic is present,” Sergeant Dave Doll said.

The police will be cracking down on those who violate crosswalk laws with extra officers around Downtown – many of them in plain clothes – looking for and ticketing violators. They will target both walkers and drivers breaking the law.

This enforcement activity was conducted last November prior to the National Catholic Youth Conference, and police and conference attendees considered it a great success.

Safety Tips for Pedestrians

• Be predictable. Stay off highways and restricted zones.
• Use sidewalks where available. Cross or enter streets where it is legal to do so.
• Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
• Make it easy for drivers to see you. Dress in light colors and wear reflective material.
• Alcohol and drugs can impair your ability to walk safely.
• Use extra caution when crossing multi-lane, higher-speed streets.

Safety Tips for Drivers

• Remember that you can encounter a pedestrian anywhere.
• When entering a crosswalk area, slow down and be prepared to stop.
• Do not pass or overtake other vehicles stopping for pedestrians.
• Be especially attentive around schools and neighborhoods where children are active.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Battle for Blood - support police, save lives!

Tomorrow marks the kick-off of the 15th annual Battle for Blood here in Kansas City. It goes from June 26 to July 2 and pits police and their supporters against firefighters and their backers to see which group can donate the most blood. Police have won the last two years!

The big kick-off event Kansas City Police are participating in is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. tomorrow, June 26, at the Community Blood Center at 4040 Main St. All registered donors will get a free Scimecas Sausage lunch and a free T-shirt. Donors also are eligible to win a KC Entertainment Package that includes hotel stays, dinners and spa visits. Police, fire and other emergency equipment will be on display for families to come check out.

Battle for Blood helps meet a critical need for blood donation in the metro area right now. Blood supplies are typically very low going into the July 4 holiday, and the Community Blood Center uses the blood from this event to help save lives of people right here. The Center needs 580 donors every day to meet the needs of area hospitals.

So please go to a Community Blood Center location this week (you can make an appointment to donate at one nearest you at to give a gift that will save someone's life. And be sure to say you're donating on behalf of the police in Battle for Blood!

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Portable video surveillance cameras and more Armour Boulevard crime-fighting

Yesterday, I told you about the Armour Boulevard Restriction Zone and some of the other efforts we're making to fight crime in that area. Another tool we're using there, in other problem areas, and to maintain security at high-profile events with relatively little manpower is portable video cameras. These cameras recently captured a shooting on Armour Boulevard and were used by officers to track down the suspect. I wanted to share the below video with you to demonstrate what a great tool these cameras are. (There is no audio - just video.)

First, these cameras are portable. We’ve used them at the St. Patrick’s Day parades, at major downtown conventions and even at stand-off situations to transmit video back to the command post. The area of Armour and Troost has been experiencing an escalation in crime, so officers set up these cameras on top of some of the buildings there. The video from the cameras fed back to the Central Patrol Division station where they could be monitored by limited-duty or patrol officers.

At about 7:58 p.m. on May 18, someone called 911 about a shooting at Armour and Troost and gave a description of the suspect (he's wearing the dark shirt and dark shorts, and you can see him fire his gun at the victim in the red shirt about 43 seconds into the video). The Center Zone desk sergeant immediately turned to the cameras and started looking for the suspect. The video shows how the cameras actually captured the shooting itself. Soon, after switching, moving and zooming various cameras temporarily installed in the area, the desk sergeant spotted someone who matched the suspect’s description. He radioed to officers who were just a few blocks away and directed them to the front of the apartment building the suspects entered. If you look closely, you can see the suspect handing his gun off to someone else, who then passed it to someone to take inside the apartment building. You can also see the frightened little girl who sees all this happen.

The victim in this case suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound to the back of the head, and he refused to prosecute. Police are, however, pursuing weapons charges against the suspect.

We will continue to use these cameras in high-crime areas and would like to find resources to expand the program. As you can see, they are a very powerful tool. If criminals know an officer could be watching them, this could prevent dangerous behavior. And if a crime does take place, these cameras can be used to track down the perpetrator. Like I said, these video cameras are mobile, and they’re designed to feed back into any patrol station or the City’s Emergency Operations Center. As new areas of concern arise, we’d like to use these cameras to combat them.

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Homicide victim found shot in wrecked SUV identified

At about 10:15 last night, June 23, police were called to the 4000 block of Vineyard Road regarding a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located a shooting victim in the driver's seat of a black SUV. He was pronounced dead a short time later at a local hospital. He has been identified as 21-year-old Miles T. Moore of Kansas City, Mo.

Two witnesses who were in the vehicle when the shooting occurred said they were driving down the street when an unknown person shot the driver. Their vehicle then crashed into a tree. Others said a dark-colored SUV was seen leaving the area right after the shooting. There are no suspects in custody and anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fighting crime on Armour Boulevard

With the help of a determined assistant city prosecutor, we’re using a unique tool to fight crime in an area of town that needs some assistance. The Armour Boulevard Restriction Zone was established last year to keep habitual criminals out of the area roughly bounded by Walnut on the west, Paseo on the east, 33rd Street on the north and 37th Street on the south. The area has been a hotbed of criminal activity – there were six homicides in 2009 in this small zone. Police receive lots of calls there about narcotics, shootings, and quality of life issues.

Assistant City Prosecutor Todd Wilcher worked with us, municipal judges and the managers of several large, multi-unit, residential properties on Armour to create the Armour Boulevard Restriction Zone. It basically works like this: whenever anyone is cited with a city ordinance violation in this zone, Mr. Wilcher is notified. When the case is prosecuted, if the judge determines the offense is serious enough, the usual recommended sentence is two years’ probation. One of the defendant’s conditions of the probation is to stay out of the Armour Boulevard Restriction Zone. If they are seen there during the term of their probation, Wilcher will file a motion to revoke the probation, and they will go to jail for up to 180 days.

So far, four people have gone to jail on this program – one has served two stints – and stayed imprisoned for an extended period of time (at least 60 days each). Another 11 people are on the restriction list now. If community members, private security officers or police officers in the area spot them within the bounds of the zone, Todd Wilcher is notified immediately and begins work to revoke their probation. At their original court date, the defendants and their attorneys are all provided maps of exactly where they’re supposed to avoid, so there’s no question about it. Wilcher said none of them actually reside in the Restriction Zone.

Although it’s still a fairly new program, Wilcher and officers on the street are hearing good feedback from neighbors. It’s keeping out habitual troublemakers, and word is spreading among the criminal element that police and prosecutors aren’t playing around. They will go to jail and serve significant time if they’re spotted in the Zone. It’s a program that requires a lot of resources on behalf of the prosecutor, but it’s something we hope to see expanded to other troubled areas in the future.

In addition to this, the Missouri Housing Development Corporation allocated $75,000 for police officers to work off-duty security at three Armour Boulevard apartment buildings with a disproportionately high amount of criminal activity. These officers are now on site at these properties most of the day and night. We also are using a portable camera system to monitor activities on the streets from the Central Patrol Division Station. Tomorrow, I'll be posting some dramatic video of a shooting we captured on those cameras and how we used them to track to down the suspect.

We are very data-driven in our crime-fighting approaches, and the data was showing far too much crime in this small area along Armour. As you can see, we’re taking a number of steps and partnering with a number of stakeholders to attack problems where they arise. This is just one example of the way we’re using our resources, resources from the criminal justice system and concerned community members to reduce crime in Kansas City.

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Police write 870 seat belt tickets in Click It or Ticket mobilization


Officers of KCPD’s Special Operations Division wrote 870 safety belt tickets during the national Click It or Ticket mobilization conducted May 24 through June 6.

During the two-week enforcement effort, officers issued a total of 3,625 traffic tickets, including:
• 870 safety belt tickets
• 1,738 speeding tickets
• 18 intoxicated driver arrests
• 999 tickets for other violations.

“Safety belts are your single best defense in a crash,” said Sgt. Grant Ruark of the Department’s Traffic Enforcement Unit. “The Kansas City Missouri Police Department will continue to encourage drivers to make a simple, smart choice to buckle up and Arrive Alive.”

Funding for this effort was provided through a grant from the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Division in cooperation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Missouri Safety Center.

For more information on Missouri’s seat belt use, visit

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Former Hereford House owner indicted in 2008 arson

A lengthy investigation conducted by our Bomb and Arson Unit, the Kansas City Fire Department, ATF and FBI culminated today in an announcement from U.S. Attorney Beth Phillips' Office that the owner of the Hereford House was indicted for his role in an arson and mail fraud conspiracy that destroyed the storied restaurant at 2 E. 20th. St. on Oct. 20, 2008, and resulted in a $2.5 million insurance claim.

Rodney D. Anderson, 57, was indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit arson, arson, mail fraud and using fire to commit a federal felony. Read the full details in the U.S. Attorney's press release below:

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an owner of the Hereford House restaurant was indicted by a federal grand jury today for his role in an arson and mail fraud conspiracy that destroyed the landmark downtown Kansas City restaurant on Oct. 20, 2008.

“Today’s indictment alleges a $2.5 million fraud scheme,” Phillips said. “A Hereford House owner is charged for his role in an arson and mail fraud conspiracy, but we believe the men he hired to actually set the blaze are still at large. I appreciate the diligent effort of law enforcement in this on-going investigation and urge the public to provide any information that will help bring the remaining perpetrators to justice.”

Rodney J. Anderson, 57, of Kansas City, was charged in a four-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. Anderson is a co-owner of B & C Restaurant Corporation, a holding company that owned the Hereford House restaurant business. Anderson is also a co-owner of Hereford K.C. Realty, LLC, which owned the building in which the Hereford House was located, and a co-owner of Skivers Corporation, a restaurant management company that managed the Hereford House and other area restaurants.

Today’s indictment alleges that Anderson participated in a conspiracy to commit arson at the Hereford House, 2 E. 20th Street, Kansas City, Mo., and to commit mail fraud against Travelers Property Casualty Company of America, which provided insurance coverage for the building and contents of the Hereford House.

In addition to the conspiracy, Anderson is charged with one count of arson, one count of mail fraud and one count of using fire to commit a federal felony.

According to the indictment, Anderson obtained the services of others, who are not identified in the indictment, to set fire to the Hereford House. Anderson allegedly met with a co-conspirator on Sept. 27, 2008. Anderson showed the co-conspirator around the building for about 50 minutes, the indictment says, and gave him a key and a security alarm code.

On Oct. 12, 2008, Anderson’s co-conspirators allegedly used the key and alarm code he provided to enter the Hereford House and conduct a walk-through in preparation for setting fire to the building. On Oct. 19, 2008, Anderson’s co-conspirators allegedly used the key and security code he provided to enter the Hereford House again and set fire to the building.

According to the indictment, Anderson requested an advance payment of $300,000 from Travelers. The check, which was sent by Travelers via overnight delivery, provides the basis for the mail fraud charge in Count Three of the indictment. Anderson also claimed a loss of $962,593 on the Hereford House building and a loss of $1,459,505 on behalf of B & C Restaurant Corporation.

Photographs of individuals taken from video surveillance cameras have been released, and the public’s assistance is being sought to identify the individuals in the photographs. A $10,000 reward is offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the additional co-conspirators.

The public is asked to call the local ATF office at 816-559-0850, ATF’s toll free hotline, 1-888-ATF-FIRE (888-283-3473) or Kansas City Crime Stoppers hotline at 816-474-TIPS (816-474-8477) with any information that may help identify those responsible for the fire. The phone lines are answered 24 hours a day and all calls remain confidential.

Phillips cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paul S. Becker and Jess E. Michaelsen. It was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Kansas City, Mo., Police Department, the Kansas City, Mo., Fire Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

We're still looking for co-conspirators with whom Anderson allegedly arranged to set the fire. Their photos are below, and there is a $10,000 reward for information leading to their arrest. If you can identify them, please call the local ATF office at 816-559-0850, the ATF's toll-free hotline, 1-888-ATF-FIRE (888-283-3473) or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Monday, June 21, 2010

Help us find this girl's family

UPDATE, 5 P.M. : The girl's parents, 32-year-old Daniel S. Everitt and 24-year-old Tracza L. Everitt, have now been issued a municipal summons for endangering the welfare of a child in regard to the incident. The girl, 4 and a 1/2-year-old Selena, and her 6- and 8-year-old brothers are in the custody of the Division of Family Services.

UPDATE, 11:10 A.M: The girl's parents have been located at a residence in the 6400 block of E. 12th St. Her father said she must have gone outside to play while he was sleeping. He called police when he couldn't find her. No charges will be filed at this time.


At about 8:30 a.m. today, a little girl was dropped off at the KCPD Service Station at 1245 Prospect Ave. A citizen found her walking alone near Independence Avenue and Wilson and took her to the station. Police have not been able to locate the toddler's home or parents. She is believed to be about 2-and-a-half years old and says her name is "Nina." She was found wearing purple pants with no shirt or shoes. She appears to be in good condition but was transported to a local hospital for a check-up.

Anyone with information about the child's identity, family or home is urged to call the East Patrol Divsion at 816-234-5530 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Police Athletic League to receive grant for NFL-sized football field


At this morning's announcement - more photos below.


The Kansas City Police Athletic League will receive a $100,000 check at 10 a.m. tomorrow, June 17, to build a new NFL-sized football field for urban core youth.

The grant is from the Kansas City Chiefs, National Football League Youth Football Fund and Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). The check presentation will take place at the PAL Center at 1801 White. After the presentation, about 200 PAL children will participate in a football clinic at the Center put on by Kansas City Chiefs players. In attendance at the event will be Police Chief James Corwin, Mayor Mark Funkhouser, Kansas City Chiefs President Denny Thum, Chiefs players, Greater Kansas City LISC Executive Director Julie Porter and other PAL supporters.

The grant is being matched by other community partners, including the Sports Turf Managers Association, Honeywell and Acme Fence, to build a natural turf field next to the PAL Center. PAL has no football program at present but arranges for some children to play in outside flag football leagues. In addition to the nearly 600 children who are members of PAL, the field will be used by student athletes from the Imagine Renaissance Academy and other nearby schools.

“This field will be the centerpiece of neighborhood revitalization on the east side,” Chief Corwin said. “It will be a gathering place for children and all area residents to engage in all types of outdoor activities. The field will mean much more than football.”

The $100,000 check presentation from Chiefs President Denny Thum and LISC Executive Director Julie Porter to Chief Corwin, Captain Rex Tarwater, PAL Board President Kevin Dunn and Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

Captain Rex Tarwater, commander of KCPD's Youth Services Unit, explains where the field will go on the PAL site at 1801 White Ave.

Students from the Imagine Renaissance Academy practiced on the site of the new field after the check presentation in a clinic led by Kansas City Chiefs players. The Academy will use PAL's field as their home field.

Chiefs Tackle Colin Brown instructed PAL youth how to tackle.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Thanks for your support!

Thanks so much to the hundreds of people who came out to our grand opening celebration of the new Metro Patrol Division Station this afternoon, and thanks to all those who were there in spirit. I was especially touched today when the crowd broke out into a roar of applause when one of the speakers said our officers deserve a nice facility like this. The truth is, they do deserve this, and they've been working under pretty bad conditions the last several years at the previous station on 63rd Street. But who really deserves this is the community, and we are so proud to share this with them. Below are some of my remarks from today's event:

"Thank you everyone for coming out today to celebrate the opening of a facility that will allow us to provide better police service to more than 97,000 Kansas Citians who reside in the Metro Patrol Division and the thousands more who visit it every day.

This new police station is more than 2.5 times larger than the old station to better accommodate the public and the 201 officers and civilians who work here around the clock, 365 days a year. It has 102 more parking spaces and a community room for neighborhood gatherings. It’s also within a quarter-mile of two city bus lines for easy access.

We very much appreciate how supportive area residents have been of this project. The Marlborough Neighborhood Association donated $8,000 to have three benches installed near the main entrance to honor all police service and commemorate those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. Marlborough also donated several historic pictures of the Metro Patrol Division area, including one of Fairyland Park. We stand today on the site of that former amusement park and are excited about bringing life and vibrancy back to this portion of the city.

This new building allows much more space for property crimes detectives to work, creates a more secure detention area and contains room to expand in the future. Behind you, you will see two outbuildings that now store all of our specialty vehicles, including the command post bus, Bomb and Arson vehicle and Tactical Team tanks. These were previously housed in a rented storage facility, and having them here allows for much faster response times.

This project was built to meet the LEED Silver standard, meaning it was designed to be environmentally responsible. We made every effort to ensure the building is energy efficient and has a minimal impact on the surrounding area. This new station has received the Southtown Beautification Award for new construction projects from the Southtown Council.

There are many people to thank for making this new Metro Patrol Division station a reality, but the most important to recognize are you, the citizens of Kansas City. By voting to approve the public safety sales tax in 2002, you paved the way for this $17 million facility. Were it not for your vote and your tax dollars, police would still be operating out of a small, 35-year-old station on 63rd Street that is in such poor condition that it will be torn down as soon as it is vacated. Thank you for your commitment to keeping Kansas City safe.

We would also like to recognize the work of:

• Ken Henton and John Conner, of Hoefer Wysoki Architects,
• Project Manager Chris Liermann and Site Superintendent Jack Ferrell of Titan Construction,
• Eric Bosch, of the City Architect’s office,
• Consultant Mike Oldham, of HNTB Engineering
• Artist Michael Davis, whose piece “Salute” is at the main entrance
• Project Officer Lee Rafferty, of the KCPD Capital Improvements Unit
• And all of the department elements who worked countless hours to make the new Metro Patrol Division Station fully operational."

Remember, the new station opens for business at 9 a.m. Friday, June 18.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Grand opening of new Metro Patrol Division station set for tomorrow


Kansas City Police and community leaders will cut the ribbon at 2 p.m. tomorrow to celebrate the opening of the new Metro Patrol Division station at 7601 Prospect Ave.

The ceremony, which is open to the public, will include a tour of the building and remarks from Chief James Corwin, Board of Police Commissioners President Patrick McInerney and Mayor Mark Funkhouser.

The $17 million facility is 28,000 square feet and includes two outbuildings to house KCPD’s specialty vehicles, including Tactical Unit tanks, the Command Post bus and the Bomb and Arson Unit vehicle. The new Metro Patrol Division station replaces the one at 1880 E. 63rd Street, which was built in 1975. At just 10,200 square feet, the old station is in such poor condition that it will be demolished once police have completed their move to the new location.

The new Metro Patrol Division was funded by the Public Safety Sales Tax that voters approved in 2002. It is located on the site of the former Fairyland Amusement Park and will serve more than 97,100 Kansas City residents who live in the Division.

Police will begin operations out of the new station at 9 a.m. Friday, June 18. Residents should continue to use the old 63rd Street station until that time.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Man found dead in car at 73rd and Indiana identified

At about 12:06 a.m. Saturday, June 12, officers were dispatched to 73rd and Indiana on a shooting. When they arrived, officers observed a light-colored Chevy Blazer on the street. The officers saw the victim deceased inside the vehicle from apparent gunshot wounds. He has been identified as 28-year-old Taron T. Smith of Kansas City, Mo.

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

Friday, June 11, 2010

Final tally of driver's license checkpoints shows 1 in 20 KC drivers are driving illegally

Last night, Kansas City Police conducted the last of six driver’s license checkpoints funded by a federal Multi-Offender grant. This checkpoint was at 3508 N.E. Vivion Road in the westbound lanes of traffic from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Police checked a total of 1,494 cars and made the following arrests and citations:

Driving while revoked/suspended – 9 (two of whom were persistent offenders)
No license or failure to produce license – 32
Other Citations – 6
Warrants Cleared – 4
Drug Arrests - 1

This specialized grant-funded project allowed Kansas City Police to conduct a large-scale driver’s license checkpoint in each of the city’s six patrol divisions over a course of six weeks. They were done in order of the particular patrol division’s radio numbers (for example, all radio numbers in Central Patrol are in the 100s, so their zone was first. Shoal Creek Patrol’s are in the 600s, so theirs was last.)

To be constitutional, the sites of the checkpoints had to be selected based on crash data. The locations were selected because of high numbers of alcohol- and drug-related crashes in those areas. Police also took into consideration safety and interruption to businesses when planning the location. For example, last night’s checkpoint targeted the high-crash intersection of Antioch and Vivion (among many other crashes at that spot, two people were killed there by a drunk driver on New Year’s Eve last year), but to set a checkpoint up in the middle of that intersection would be unsafe and would impede businesses in the area, so they used one of the streets feeding into it at a spot close to the intersection.

A total of 120 officers were trained to conduct driver’s license checkpoints through this grant, and they will continue to do so on a smaller scale in their own patrol divisions in the future. The grant also funded equipment for them to do those checkpoints.

Officers at many of these checkpoints have been heartened to hear from the public how generally supportive they are of the effort. Dozens and dozens of people who were stopped thanked police for getting unsafe drivers off the road. Studies show those driving with a suspended/revoked/or no license are involved in 20 percent of all fatality crashes. A majority of them have had their license revoked for driving while impaired, and they put lives at risk when they continue to do so.

Those involved in coordinating these driver’s license checkpoints were frankly rather stunned at the high number of revoked and unlicensed drivers on the roads. It was much higher than they predicted. Here are the grand totals from the six checkpoints over the last six weeks:

Total cars checked: 7,472

Driving while revoked/suspended – 99 (19 of whom were persistent offenders)
No license or failed to produce license – 248
DUIs – 6 (3 of whom were persistent offenders)
Convicted drunk drivers who did not have legally required ignition interlock device on their vehicles - 2
Drug arrests – 11
Warrants cleared – 176
Guns recovered – 5

The final tally is that 355 drivers – or about 5 percent of all the people officers checked in the last six weeks – were driving illegally in Kansas City. That’s 1 in every 20 cars. That’s a frightening statistic, especially when we know how these illegal drivers are 4.9 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash.

Like I mentioned, although this major operation is over for now, more than 100 KCPD officers are now trained to conduct them in their own patrol divisions and will continue to do so. As we have done in this campaign, we will notify you before the checkpoint takes place and notify you of the results afterward.

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Residents asked to bring old prescription drugs to take-back events Saturday


In an effort to combat prescription drug abuse, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, Northland Coalition and Walgreen’s are sponsoring two Prescription Take Back events Saturday.

At these events, residents can clean out their medicine cabinets and bring in old and unwanted prescription drugs for safe disposal. The Prescription Take Backs will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 12, at the following Kansas City Walgreen’s locations:

* 401 NE Barry Road
* 2630 NE Vivion Road

In this statewide event, substance abuse prevention professionals are joining forces with 17 Walgreen’s stores across Missouri. Kansas City Police will be on hand to collect the pills, liquids, or other controlled substances in a safe, legal manner.

Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in many Missouri communities. A 2009 nationwide study among American teenagers revealed the following:

• 1 in 7 teens, or 15%, reported abusing a prescription pain reliever in the last year
• 63% of teens believe prescription drugs are easy to get from their parent’s medicine cabinet. That number is up from 56% of teens in 2008.

Since November 2009, officials at similar Prescription Take Back Day events have collected nearly 150,000 pills from Missouri residents. Kansas City Police alone helped collect 1,705 bottles and packages of pills last November.


-Identification – you must be at least 18 years of age and reside at the address listed on the medications. You may bring medication from anyone living within your household.

-Bring medications in their original packaging from the pharmacy. (Those not in original packaging will take longer to process and inspect.)

-Any medication from a licensed pharmacist will be accepted (controlled substances, liquids containing medications, prescription inhalers and medicated ointments or patches.)


-Do not bring medication from anyone not residing in your home

-Do not bring illicit drugs (e.g. cocaine, marijuana, etc.) KCPD asks that anyone finding illicit drugs call 911 and ask for an officer to respond to the location.

-Not accepted: sharp objects, including needles, radioactive medicines, bio-hazardous materials or glass thermometers or other medical devices.

-No medications from businesses such as pharmacies and/or doctors’ offices will be accepted. Only medications from individuals can be accepted.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Operation breaks up major drug trafficking ring in Kansas City

Led by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department’s Narcotics and Vice Division, one of the city’s largest-ever investigations into narcotics trafficking led to the arrest of 18 people yesterday who are involved in a large-scale conspiracy to distribute cocaine and crack cocaine in Kansas City.

A federal grand jury indicted 23 people on May 26 on drugs and weapons charges. Kansas City Police and federal law enforcement agents arrested 18 of them yesterday in Kansas City and one in St. Louis. Three remain federal fugitives (more information on them is below). One, 22-year-old John L. Hooker, was found deceased on May 27 behind a home in the 4500 block of Askew. Read more about those indicted and their charges in the U.S. Attorney's press release.

This operation cut off a major pipeline of narcotics to the metropolitan area, and it’s a good example of the major impact we can have on narcotics trafficking and the crime that surrounds it when we join forces with our federal partners.

Kansas City Police partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the initiative. During the course of the 19 arrests on June 9, police recovered 52 guns, $144,000 in cash, three homemade explosive devices, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin and marijuana. They seized five vehicles and served five search warrants. All the arrests were made without incident, and no one was injured.

One of those indicted is still on the run and has a federal warrant for her arrest. Please help us find her by calling the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477):

Andreya D. Jones, 28 years old, goes by "Pig"

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New Metro Patrol sneak peek

The new Metro Patrol Division Station at 7601 Prospect will have a grand opening/ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 16. The public is invited to attend to check out the new facility. But I wanted to give you a sneak peek. The art piece that is part of the City's 1% for Art project was recently installed outside the main entrance, and it's looking pretty sharp.

Kansas City Police release audits on Communications Support and Supply units


KCPD’s Communications Support Unit should better secure $6.2 million worth of radio equipment, and the Supply Unit should streamline the ordering of office supplies, according to audits released today by the Internal Audit Unit.

Internal auditors found that nearly $6.2 million in equipment was left in unsecured locations at the Communications Support Unit. Much of the equipment is being stored for a large radio rebanding project, which was delayed because of manufacturer defects in the equipment. Communications Support staff indicated the equipment would be gone once rebanding was completed, but auditors continue to have concerns about security.

KCPD’s internal auditors also recommended that the Supply Unit streamline its office supply ordering and delivery system by considering an outside vendor to handle all the orders and delivery, rather than delivering office supply orders to the Supply Unit, who then distribute them to all department elements. Commanders decided not to implement this recommendation because it would limit the department’s ability to buy in bulk and because of the implementation of a new online supply ordering system the department will start using July 1.

Click to see the full audit reports.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

VIN specialist tracks down stolen cars

There's an interesting article in our monthly Informant Newsletter about a former police officer who finds stolen cars using Vehicle Identification Numbers. It's a very specialized position that is yielding good results. Here's the story:

What led New York City police to a suspected terrorist who planned to blow up Times Square with a car bomb on May 1 was the same thing Chris Whitaker looks for every day: a Vehicle Identification Number, or VIN.

In the realm of all things CSI, VINs are not a very sexy crime-fighting technique. But knowing how to find a VIN and determine whether it’s been tampered with can stop terrorists, or, as Whitaker knows, return stolen cars to their rightful owners.

Whitaker is KCPD’s new VIN Specialist, and it is his job to inspect every car that comes into the Kansas City Tow Lot. He also works with the National Insurance Crime Bureau and Department of Revenue doing business compliance checks at scrap yards and towing companies as well as investigating chop shops.

Whitaker replaces Steve Downing, who essentially created the VIN Specialist position five years ago while he was working at the Tow Lot. He saw too many cars that were to go up for auction turn out to be stolen, so he proposed that someone check the VINs on each of them. The position’s duties grew from there. Downing left the spot last fall to enroll in the Police Academy and is now a probationary KCPD officer.

Whitaker, on the other hand, used to be a KCPD officer. After six years on the job, he was shot outside the West Bottoms’ haunted houses in 2001 by suspects he caught trying to break into cars. The shot hit him in the abdomen, severed nerves to his right leg, and he was medically retired. He eventually regained the ability to walk and became director of security at an area casino.

“But I missed the police department and the people,” he said.

He returned as the civilian VIN Specialist in January 2010. When he was an officer, he took a course on cars that got stolen and re-tagged.

“I loved working those cases when I was in the field,” he said.

Whitaker is technically part of the East Patrol Property Crimes Section, though he works all over the city. Sergeant Keith Ericsson said Whitaker’s specialized training and knowledge allows him to identify a stolen car from just a door or an engine part.

“It’s something an officer couldn’t do,” Sergeant Ericsson said.

Especially if the car is burned out. On one balmy May day, Whitaker lay on the ground using sandpaper and mirrors to find a VIN on a truck that was set on fire after its doors, tailgate and seats were stolen.

Automobile manufactures put VINS in a couple of obvious places, but they put them in a lot of hidden ones, too. The location varies by make and model of car, and it’s Whitaker’s job to learn all of them and to know what altered ones look like.

“It’s funny, I was never really a big car guy,” he said.

Whitaker’s work returns stolen vehicles to their owners and allows insurance companies to recoup some of their losses. He also helps break up rings of organized auto thieves. Charges could soon be filed in one of his biggest cases to date.

“VINs are the only way we can know who might be the legal owner of a car,” he said.

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Man found dead June 7 at Linwood and Michigan identified

On June 7, at about 8:50 p.m., officers at Central Patrol Division (1200 E. Linwood) heard heavy gunfire in the area of Linwood and 71 Highway. The officers responded to the area and saw a vehicle traveling at approximately 5 mph on the north sidewalk at Linwood and Michigan. After the vehicle came to rest, officers saw the vehicle had several bullet holes.

Two occupants were found inside, both suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries. One of the victims later died of his injuries. He has been identified as 26-year-old Marcel Nelson. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Helping an officer in need

A Kansas City Police officer and his family lost nearly everything Sunday when a fire destroyed their Northland home. In addition to the house itself, the home's contents were destroyed, including the cars in the garage. The officer, his wife, their four school-age children and pet dog all escaped uninjured, but with little more than the clothes on their backs.

A fund has been established at the Kansas City Police Credit Union to help the family get back on their feet. If you'd like to donate, simply go to any KCPCU branch (here are the locations) and say you'd like to give to the Wells Family Benefit Account.

Thanks for your support.

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Police seek man missing since May 13

Police are looking for 26-year-old Genaro I. Garcia-Uranga, who was last seen at about 11 a.m. on May 13, 2010, leaving 6218 E. 16th St. The car he left in was found June 1 at 110 N. White. His family is concerned for his safety.

Garcia-Ungara is an Hispanic male, 5 feet 7 inches tall weighing about 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. It's unknown what he was last wearing. If you know where he is, ask him to contact his family and call the Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Neighborhood roll calls

Since last year, we’ve made a point to get our patrol officers out into the community to meet the people they serve outside of their normal contacts responding to 911 calls. I wanted to tell you about their efforts so in case you have gotten the chance yet, you can meet the police who patrol your neighborhood.

Our six patrol divisions all do them differently. Even the different shifts at each division are reaching out to different people. They call them different things, too – community roll calls, front porch roll calls, neighborhood roll calls – but the purpose is the same: to learn about what issues concern you, get to know you, and find out how we can serve you better. Captain Helen Schultz of the Shoal Creek Patrol Division put it very well: “We have had great success with these roll calls and have been given some very valuable information. In addition, we make sure the residents are given a contact person to address any new problems as they arise.”

Below are what some of the different patrol divisions are doing and some upcoming events where you can meet your officers (for more information on any of these, contact the Community Interaction Officer at your division):

Central Patrol
Officers attend many of the regular neighborhood association meetings to address residents’ concerns. Each shift attends one of these meetings every month, and as many officers as possible come. Commanders sometimes attend, as well. Residents can tell their concerns directly to the officers and work with them to resolve neighborhood issues.

Upcoming meetings police are scheduled to attend:
Volker Neighborhood Association – 7 p.m. June 10, 1700 Westport Road
Volker Watch Association – 6 p.m. June 13, 1700 Westport Road

East Patrol
East Patrol is focusing on conducting roll calls at businesses in the historic Northeast neighborhood. They’re using officers who have graduated from the department’s Spanish Immersion program to converse with Hispanic business owners and customers of those businesses about problems they’re facing. They even set up a Spanish-language hotline for residents to leave tips if they’re scared to do so through other means. The number for that is 816-482-8531. You can read more about these efforts here.

Metro Patrol
Metro Patrol officers on all shifts also are attending neighborhood and community meetings to get to know the people they serve and deliver crime prevention advice. Their last one was at the Southeast Caring Coalition meeting on May 25, and more are coming up.

Upcoming meetings police are scheduled to attend:

CPAC (Community Policing Action Cooperative) Meeting – 4 p.m. July 15, 6814 Troost

North Patrol

The North Patrol Division is home to many apartment communities, and officers there have recently focused on getting to know those residents. They attend traditional neighborhood meetings, as well, but coming to apartment complexes has allowed them to meet residents they otherwise wouldn’t. Officer Don Smarker told me, “The response has been really good, and the apartment community residents have liked being recognized as a neighborhood.” The officers tailor their presentations to the communities they’re addressing. For example, one apartment community’s residents had complained about unattended children on the property, so the officers discussed the responsibilities of parents at the meeting. They also share information about neighborhood crime trends, how to avoid being a victim and even when to call 911 as opposed to using another resource. The North Patrol commanders have been to almost all of these meetings, as well, and more are coming up.

South Patrol
In addition to two high-profile events in parks last summer and fall in which SPD officers set up command posts to meet with residents, officers having been beating streets all over south Kansas City to get to know people and teach them about crime prevention. They’ve gone to grocery and convenience stores, greeting people and passing out crime prevention fliers. They’ve hosted safety socials at apartment complexes in conjunction with our Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. They’ve also visited businesses to hear the concerns of business owners and their employees. As South Patrol Officer Mike Hammer says, “It’s a way to be more accessible to the community. Any more we’re stuck in our cars, and this is a way to get out and get to know the community.”

Shoal Creek Patrol
Like the North Patrol Division, the Shoal Creek Patrol Division also houses a lot of apartment communities, and officers on the day shift are making it a point to meet with these residents. The meeting scheduled below is a continuation of these efforts.

Officers and sergeants on the PM shift (late afternoons and evenings) are going into the residential areas, parking their cars and walking around, chatting with people mowing their lawns, out for a jog or anyone they come across. (During the winter months, they meet with residents at neighborhood and community organizations’ meetings.) They’re learning a lot and are even helping residents address quality of life issues with other city departments – things like un-mowed residences and foliage blocking stop signs. Afterward, the officers meet up to share the information they learned talking to residents and come up with action plans for any problems. They return to the neighborhoods periodically to see if the problems are getting resolved.

Upcoming meetings police are scheduled to attend:

Front Porch Roll Call – 9 a.m. June 11, Wild Oak Apartments clubhouse, 7897 NE Flintlock

Our officers are working hard to build relationships with the residents of Kansas City, so please come to one of the meetings where they’re scheduled to be or stop and chat when you see them out and about.

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Friday, June 4, 2010

More driver's license checkpoint results

Police conducted another driver's license checkpoint yesterday afternoon and evening. This one was at 9603 Blue Ridge Blvd. Northbound cars were checked before Bannister Road. Police have previously responded to a high number of alcohol-related crashes at the intersection of Blue Ridge and Bannister and along the roads themselves.

A total of 1,270 cars were checked for operators' licenses. Fifty-four of them were driving with revoked licenses or no license at all. Here's how the numbers broke down for arrests and citations:

Total cars stopped: 1,270
Driving while revoked: 17 (2 of whom were persistent offenders)
No operator's license: 37
Other citations: 7
Warrants cleared: 39

Due to the high number of arrests, officers let a total of 609 cars pass through. Officers and sergeants working the checkpoint said feedback was very positive. Several of the stopped drivers even thanked them for doing the operation.

More of these checkpoints are scheduled in the future.

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Some fun fund-raisers for KCPD programs this weekend

Two non-profit groups that support KCPD and area youth are presenting some fun fund-raisers this weekend I wanted to let you know about.

Police Athletic League (PAL) Motorcycle Rally
Registration for the PAL Motorcycle Rally starts at 8 a.m. tomorrow, June 5, at the PAL Center, 1801 White Ave. Proceeds from this event will benefit the PAL Youth Boxing Program to send six boxers to the National PAL Boxing Tournament in October 2010. This is a great program for urban-core kids to put their energy and strength into something that helps them develop skill and discipline.

The first bikes will leave the PAL Center at about 9 a.m. Suggested donations are $30 for riders and $20 for passengers. The event will begin and end at the PAL Center after making three stops in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. If you have questions about the event, e-mail Officer Shawnie Nix at or Sergeant Martin Cobbinah at

Friends of the Kansas City Mounted Patrol Disc Golf Tournament
Also on Saturday morning will be the Second Annual Disc Golf Tourney sponsored by the Friends of the Kansas City Mounted Patrol, a nonprofit group that supports our Mounted Patrol Unit. Some of the things they've done in the past include buying riot gear for horses, paying for the officers to attend training from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, barn updates, unexpected medical care for the horses and other things the Department wouldn't otherwise be able to afford.

If you prefer Frisbee to motorcycles, this event is the place for you. The Disc Golf Tournament starts with registration at 8 a.m. at the Thornfield Disc Golf Course at 6701 W. 167th St. in Stilwell, Kan. A shotgun start will take place at 9 a.m. An entry fee of $200 for a 4-person team includes a disc golf pro and lunch. Individual golfers can enter for $50, which includes lunch. There will be awards for the 4-person ProAm Scramble 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams, as well as individual contests. Practice holes are available prior to the 9 a.m. shotgun start. Other activities will include kids’ games, disc golf demonstrations, a silent auction and an opportunity to meet the Mounted Patrol officers and horses. The event will feature a demonstration by the Mounted Patrol. Special presentations and awards will be hosted by Larry Moore of KMBC Channel 9.

Thanks for your support of the programs of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Explosion at 17th and Grand

At approximately 1 p.m. today, officers were called to 17th and Grand on an explosion.

Officers responded and contacted witnesses. Witnesses said they observed a man put an unknown item in the metal yellow clothing donation box in the parking lot of the Valero station. The man walked away and shortly after a large explosion was heard.

KCPD's Bomb and Arson detectives and KCFD are on scene investigating. Sixteenth to 18th Streets on Grand are closed.

No injuries have been reported.

Police seek man missing since Tuesday

Jerry R. Cooper Jr., 24, was last seen at 2323 E. 63rd St. running westbound down the street on June 1. He is bipolar and suicidal, and his loved ones are worried about him. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 145 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing an orange/red shirt, red New York Yankees baseball cap and jean shorts. If you know where Jerry Cooper is, call the KCPD Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Help us find this child's family

UPDATE: The boy's family has been located. He lives in the apartment complex, and it appears he wandered outside when his babysitter fell asleep. Police continue to investigate the incident, and no charges have been filed at this time. Thanks for your assistance.

At about 3 p.m. today, June 2, officers were called to the Whispering Lakes apartments, 43rd and Northern, about a small child found in the parking lot. A witness said they saw the child wandering around outside the apartment complex with no adult supervision. He appears to be in good physical condition but his vocabulary is limited – he only says “two.”

Officers have been unsuccessful locating his family and/or home. He is a black male, about 2 to 3 years old, wearing a blue shirt, blue and white-checkered shorts and brown sandals. If you recognize the child and know his family, please call the East Patrol Division at 816-234-5530 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Man charged with murder in death of 21-year-old in 8600 block of Thompson

Victim, Darrell Dancy

At about 1 p.m. yesterday, June 1, police were called to the 8600 block of Thompson on a shooting. They found 21-year-old Darrell Dancy dead in the grass. Witnesses said Dancy and 41-year-old Michael Thompson were involved in an argument about Dancy damaging Thompson's property when Thompson shot Dancy. Thompson was taken into custody without incident in the 8600 block or Roberts just after the shooting. He has been charged with murder in Jackson County.
Suspect, Michael Thompson

Urban legends of gang initiations

You may have gotten an e-mail or seen a flier about supposed "gang initiations" in Kansas City. These e-mails and fliers are particularly directed at women and warn them against eggs on their windshield or carseats with baby dolls in them on the side of the road. They say if you stop and get out of your car to inspect, gang wannabes or robbers will attack you, and they say these things are happening in Kansas City. THIS IS NOT TRUE.

I spoke with the supervisor of our Gang Squad, and he told me nothing of the sort is happening in the Kansas City metropolitan area. There have been absolutely no reports of anyone getting robbed or raped or beaten after they stopped to wipe egg off their windshield or to inspect a carseat left on the side of the road. (Nor have we heard of any eggs on moving cars or carseats with fake babies in them on roadways.) He said variations on this urban legend include criminals hiding underneath cars to attack women or preying on women at Wal-Mart stores. Other messages say criminals play a recording of a baby crying outside a woman's window to lure her out to attack her. 

None of these things are true, but for some reason or another, people continue to forward them to others and incite unfounded fear and paranoia. Members of our department have fielded many questions about these urban legends recently, and I want to let you know once and for all that they're not true. If there is a significant threat to the safety of the public or a particular crime pattern, I can assure you that KCPD will get the word out about it as quickly as possible. In the mean time, if you see a message about any of the afore-mentioned "gang initiation" tactics, simply delete it or throw it away.

For more information about likely hoaxes, the web site has a whole section about urban legends of gang activity.

As always, however, we urge everyone to be alert and aware of their surroundings and to call police if you feel unsafe.

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