Friday, July 30, 2010

What really happened in e-mail that's going around

A scary e-mail about an incident in Kansas City has been making the rounds the last few days that bears a striking similarity to a popular urban legend. However, I did want to let you know that this incident really did happen, but we want to clarify some of the more scary parts.

On Sunday, July 25, a 41-year-old woman called police and said she had been in a Quik Trip at about 9:30 a.m. in the 10200 block of Wornall when a man approached her and gave her a piece of paper with his first name and a phone number on it. She took the paper to be polite and drove away. As she drove away, she threw the paper out the window. Then she saw the same man who’d given her the paper following her. She began to feel ill and told police her heart rate increased, and she felt dizzy. She pulled off into a nearby McDonald’s parking lot and hurried inside. The man came in the restaurant and approached her. She said he told her, “Sorry, I never did ask if you were married.” She told him she had called police, and he fled in an unknown direction. The victim told officers she had no pre-existing medical conditions and did not take any medication. Police noticed she was agitated and fidgety. When paramedics arrived shortly thereafter, all of her vital signs were normal. She refused any medical treatment.

Later that day, the suspect walked in a hit-and-run accident report claiming an unknown white female had hit his car. He claimed he followed her to McDonald’s, but she refused to give him any information. He said he had given the woman his name and number on a piece of paper, and she’d fled. Detectives later determined no accident had taken place, and the man admitted he filed the report because he was scared the woman would report him to police. He said he thought she was cute and gave her his phone number. He has been charged in City Court with filing a false report.

Investigators watched surveillance video from the Quik Trip and the McDonald’s. They did see the suspect, 27-year-old Edward Blakley, in Quik Trip. The victim then entered and is seen leaving the store. Blakley is seen writing on a piece of paper and rushing out after her. Cameras there did not capture him handing her the paper outside. At McDonald’s, surveillance showed the victim enter in a rush, followed by Blakley. He leaves, then re-enters and approaches her. He appeared to place his hand in his pocket. The victim told police it seemed he was “touching himself.”

The e-mails going around say there was some kind of drug on the paper Blakley gave the victim. He denied it. The video of him at Quik Trip showed him touching the paper with no gloves on, and he had no ill effects. Police were unable to locate the discarded paper, and because the victim did not submit to medical tests, there is no way to determine if anything was on the paper that would have gotten into her bloodstream and made her sick. However, it is highly unlikely that such brief skin contact with any type of toxin could produce such a fast response. It’s more likely the victim suffered anxiety-related symptoms like a panic attack from the stress of the event, but there is no way to prove that.

The victim did the right thing by getting to a public place and calling police. In addition to charges of filing a false report, Blakley also faces a municipal charge of intimidation because of the incident. Here's his mug shot:

I wanted to get all the facts of this incident out to the public to quell the fears that often accompany scary, mass-circulating e-mails. It is highly, highly unlikely that there is a man out there handing pieces of paper to women that drug them and render them ill. As always, if you ever feel unsafe, however, please call 911.

Send comments to

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

UPDATE: The below statistics have been updated as of 1:30 p.m. July 30 to reflect the final results of the first portion of the operation


An effort led by Kansas City Police put more than 150 law enforcement officers in the most violent areas of the city for three days to attack violent crime.

Running from July 28 to 30, this violent crime initiative followed up and expanded on the success of similar initiatives in the past two years. This year, KCPD and Independence Police officers, as well as agents from seven federal agencies, are targeting five areas of Kansas City and a few addresses in Independence. These areas were selected based on homicides, drive-by shootings, aggravated assaults, police calls for service that are violent in nature, reports of suspected drug activity, intelligence and information from district patrol officers. The target areas comprise 3 percent of Kansas City’s land area but have been responsible for 27 percent of its homicides, 41 percent of its drive-by shootings and 30 percent of its aggravated assaults from January to June 2010.

The preliminary results of the initiative are:

• 120 warrants cleared
• 74 arrests, 20 new arrests/charges
• 17 search warrants served
• $48,706 in U.S. currency recovered
• 76 grams of cocaine recovered
• 32,135 grams of marijuana recovered
• 33 grams of methamphetamine recovered
• 56 grams of heroin recovered
• 7,257 grams of PCP recovered
• 15 handguns (3 reported stolen), 4 shotguns, 4 rifles

This initiative will be conducted in two parts. The first part took place Wednesday and Thursday, July 28 and 29, and involved officers serving search warrants and conducting knock-and-talks within the target areas. The second phase will take place tomorrow, July 30, and involve 150-plus officers going door-to-door in many neighborhoods to gather more information about five unsolved homicide cases.

Federal agencies that participated in the operation include: the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Marshals Service; United States Postal Inspection Service; IRS Criminal Division and the Drug Enforcement Agency. The Jackson County Prosecutor’s and U.S. Attorney’s offices also assisted in the operation.

Below are maps of the five areas officers targeted in Central, East, Metro and South patrols (click to see larger versions):

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Police will re-open 40-year-old murder case of civil rights leader


Kansas City Police will reopen the case of a prominent civil rights leader and politician who was murdered 40 years ago.

Leon Jordan was killed on July 15, 1970, outside the Green Duck tavern at 2548 Prospect Ave. Renewed public interest in the case and recently rediscovered evidence have prompted police to reopen the investigation.

Once thought lost, police have located the weapon used in the murder and partial fingerprints taken from the weapon and cars around the crime scene. The fingerprints were among some 100,000 KCPD kept in storage before the national fingerprint database AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification System) was instituted in 1988. AFIS and software that enhances fingerprints could shed new light on the case, Crime Lab Director Linda Netzel said, but she cautioned about the lab’s limitations.

“We haven’t done a case of this age before,” she said. “… The staff is excited to get this case.”

Before this, the oldest case KCPD’s Cold Case Homicide Squad had investigated was from 1977.

The murder weapon, a shotgun, was located as a service rifle in a Kansas City Police car. After the case was initially closed, police released the gun to an unknown party in 1976. In 1977, the department bought it back from a local gun dealer, and it has been used as a police service weapon ever since. While the gun has the same serial number, parts of it, including the barrel, have been replaced to maintain the gun’s functionality.

The physical evidence will be re-examined with new technology, but the bulk of the detective work will be done the old-fashioned way, said Cold Case Squad Sergeant Richard Sharp. Much of it will involve sitting down and having face-to-face conversations.

“We have to see if anyone can remember this, if people are still alive,” he said. “I think this is going to be a challenge, but we can do it.”

Leon Jordan, 65 at the time he was killed, was the founder of Freedom Inc. and a well-known politician and leader of civil rights movements in Kansas City. The suspects have been described as three black men who drove a brown, late 1960s-model Pontiac. The car and gun were later found abandoned.

If you have any information about the murder of Leon Jordan, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Below is the murder weapon police found in use in a patrol car. It does not look like it did in 1970. The barrel, stock, fore stock and strap all have been changed or added.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Man shot and killed this morning identified

At about 2:17 a.m. today, July 28, officers were called to 2105 Lexington Ave. on a report of a shooting. When they arrived, they found 25-year-old Keith Q. Wilkins of Kansas City, Mo., dead of an apparent gunshot wound in the parking lot. If you have any information, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Police looking for new clues in hit-and-run of 66-year-old woman


Kansas City Police need your help to find the suspect who struck and critically injured a 66-year-old woman one month ago and then took off.

Marilyn Luvin was out for a walk on the morning of June 29 at about 7 a.m. in the 7600 block of E. 109th Terrace. She was walking on the roadside when the northbound suspect vehicle hit her and drove away. The vehicle reportedly crossed to the other side of the road to strike her. Ms. Luvin suffered severe injuries, including fractures to her ribs and pelvis. She remains in the surgical intensive care unit at a local hospital.

Police have little information about the suspect. The suspect vehicle is an older, gray Dodge or Ford pick-up truck with a standard cab. It should have damage to its front grill, possibly on the driver’s side. Police have obtained surveillance video from a nearby school that shows a truck matching the description driving by at about the time of the incident. If you have any information you think might be pertinent to the case, please call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Officers help save baby's life

A lot of police work is catching bad guys and crime prevention, but not all of it. The Kansas City Star has a great article today about how two of our officers and some KCFD paramedics saved the life of a premature baby that was thought to be stillborn.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Officer severely injured in off-duty car accident that killed his wife

Today is a sad day at the KCPD as one of our officers was critically injured in a car crash, and his wife was killed. The off-duty officer and his wife were headed southbound on Interstate 29 about 7 miles north of St. Joseph, Mo., yesterday, July 25. At about 3:15 a.m., the officer was driving and veered off the east side of the road. Their SUV went airborne, crossed an adjoining road, struck an embankment and overturned once, according to the Missouri Highway Patrol report. The officer’s 26-year-old wife was pronounced dead at the scene. The 25-year-old officer, who has been with KCPD since March 2008, suffered very serious injuries and was transported to a nearby hospital. He underwent surgery and remains in critical condition. The preliminary investigation indicates the officer may have fallen asleep while driving. Both he and his wife were wearing their seat belts. The officer works at the Central Patrol Division.

Please keep this officer, his family and friends, and the loved ones of his wife in your thoughts and prayers. Please also remember this officer’s colleagues. I have said many times that the Kansas City Missouri Police Department is a family, and we all will be mourning and hurting during this time.

Send comments to

Longest-retired officer reconnects with KCPD

Last month, current KCPD officers came across 91-year-old Frank Schump (Officer Terry Owens is on the left, and Reserve Sergeant Mike Coughlin is on the right). Schump is month short of being the oldest living KCPD law enforcement retiree still alive, but he does have the distinction of being the longest-retired officer still alive. Frank left the department in 1972. Here's the story of how he got back in touch with KCPD almost 40 years after he retired from our Informant newsletter:

A recent burglary in Frank Schump’s neighborhood brought Officer Terry Owens to his door. Officer Owens of the Metro Patrol Division was canvassing the area asking neighbors if they’d seen or heard anything. Schump hadn’t seen anything related to the burglary, but he pointed out to Officer Owens that he had retired from the Kansas City Police Department.

As the two got to talking, Officer Owens realized Frank Schump was pretty special. He turned out to be the longest-retired KCPD officer still alive. Schump retired in 1972 after a 27-year career on the Department. He’s now 91 years old. Officer Owens contacted Reserve Sergeant Mike Coughlin because Reserve Sergeant Coughlin’s late father, Charles Coughlin, retired from KCPD as a deputy chief in 1978 and had worked with Frank Schump. With a brand new police station to call home, Officer Owens and Reserve Sergeant Coughlin decided it was time to re-introduce Schump, who retired as a Detective Sergeant, to the KCPD.

On June 29, Owens and Coughlin took Schump on a tour of the Kansas City Regional Police Academy and the new Metro Patrol Division station. Asked to compare them to the old KCPD facilities in which he used to work, Schump said, “There’s no comparison.”

Schump started working at KCPD in 1942 as a traffic officer on a motorcycle. He left in 1943 to serve in the United States Marine Corps in World War II in the Pacific Arena. At the Academy, he saw a photo of himself along with several hundred other police officers who returned to KCPD from the War pictured in the Kansas City Star in 1945. He came back to Traffic for a while and then moved to the Detective Bureau’s Burglary Unit about the time Clarence Kelley became Chief. Schump and Kelley grew up down the street from each other near 25th and Brooklyn.

Schump said one of his biggest cases in the Burglary Unit was when detectives broke up a sewing machine theft ring and recovered $150,000 worth of Singers stolen from area businesses. After Burglary, he worked in the prosecutor’s office and was tasked with making sure officers showed up to court. When he retired in 1972, he went back to work at the state probation office.

“I was still a young man,” he said.

He spent another 10 years there working on a bond program that gave higher bonds to more serious offenders before retiring a second time in 1982.

These days, Retired Detective Sergeant Schump enjoys spending time with his wife of 70 years and keeping in touch with his children and grandchildren. And thanks to the officer that showed up at his door one summer night looking for a burglar, he also enjoyed his visit to see the latest and greatest KCPD has to offer.

Send comments to

Friday, July 23, 2010

Police seek missing elderly woman

UPDATE, 9 a.m. July 26: Elaine Adcock has been located. Thanks for your help.

Kansas City Police are looking for 70-year-old Elaine M. Adcock, who was last seen at about 8 a.m. yesterday, July 22. Ms. Adcock was set to fly out of Kansas City to attend a family function and never arrived for that function. She has not been seen or heard from since, and her family is worried about her.

She is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 165 pounds. She has gray hair and hazel eyes. She may be driving a yellow Volkswagen Beetle with Missouri license plate CD7-V7X. If you know where Elaine Adcock is, call the Missing Persons Section at 234-5136.

Prevent crime through environmental design at your home or business

I urge you to check out this video we produced that outlines some basic ways you can make your home or business less attractive to criminals. Simple things like what kind of shrubs you plant to where you place outdoor lights can make a big difference and may prevent you from being a victim.

Send comments to

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New color, same old meth

In the last two months or so, police have started seeing a new trend in drugs in Kansas City: blue meth. It had shown up at a few other spots around the country, but we've only recently been recovering it around here. We haven't seen a huge amount, but it was enough that I wanted to tell you about it so you know to call police if you see something like it.

Our undercover units have encountered it a few times, and our Shoal Creek Patrol Division has made four arrests in the last three weeks in which blue meth was recovered. We do know that it is not chemically different than regular methamphetamine. Our crime lab has tested all of it and has determined the active ingredients remain the same, and the blue version is no more potent than the regular meth our officers have recovered. (As an aside - almost all the meth we've recovered lately has been relatively strong, thus presenting even greater risks than meth normally does.)  The color could be coming from something as simple as food coloring. Unfortunately, we don't know where the blue meth is coming from.

Our Drug Enforcement Unit has several theories about why some meth manufacturers are making it blue. One is that the field test police use to determine whether a substance is methamphetamine is blue, and perhaps criminals are making the meth the same color to make the test harder to read. But the tests continue to work just as well on the blue meth as they do on any other, and besides, all drugs that are field tested are later re-tested for confirmation in our crime lab. Another theory is that the blue could be the mark of the manufacturer, like how ecstasy makers stamp pills with pictures to indicate where they came from or that they're "high quality." Still another hypothesis is that the manufacturers are simply copying the TV show on AMC called "Breaking Bad," which features a character who makes meth and dyes it blue.

Whatever the reason, people in Kansas City are making, using and selling blue meth. It is not more potent or chemically different than the regular kind, but it is just as dangerous. If you suspect meth use, distribution or manufacturing, call police.

Send comments to

Man found dead in his home in 6900 block of E. 114th St. identified

UPDATE: The victim's car was located the evening of July 21 in the 4200 block of E. 56th Terrace. An officer on routine patrol found it abandoned.

At about 3:45 p.m. yesterday, July 20, police were called to a residence in the 6900 block of East 114th Street to check the welfare of the resident after he did not show up for work. Officers entered the house and found the resident deceased. He has been identified as 30-year-old Nicholas Dutcher, a white male of Kansas City, Mo. His death has officially been ruled a homicide, and police are attempting to locate his vehicle. It is a 2009 gray Ford Escape with Missouri license plate number WA4-D5R. If you have any information about the homicide or see the vehicle, call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Police looking for man last seen a week ago

UPDATE - 11:15 a.m. July 21 - John Self has been located at a community shelter in good condition. Thanks for your help.

Kansas City Police are looking for 54-year-old John R. Self, who has been missing since last Wednesday, July 14. He was last seen at noon that day leaving North Kansas City Hospital. He was wearing a white- and gray-striped shirt, dark shorts and dark-rimmed glasses. Mr. Self is 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 190 pounds. He has strawberry-blonde hair and blue eyes.

There are no signs of foul play, but his family hasn't seen him and is concerned for his safety. If you know where John Self is, call the KCPD Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

Risk Terrain Modeling

One of our Department’s critical values is innovation, and we’re looking at an intriguing new way to predict where crime will happen using technology we already have. The method is called Risk Terrain Modeling, and we first learned about it through a study three professors at the Rutgers University Center on Public Security published in October 2009.

One of those professors, Dr. Joel Caplan, helped teach our officers how to do Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM). We will use RTM as part of a larger crime reduction pilot project in the South Patrol Division. RTM will attempt to predict where crime will happen and then address it before it does. RTM uses crime-mapping software we already have but takes it to another level. Instead of just including historical information about crime hotspots, it incorporates a variety of other factors (like vacant buildings, where parolees live, or almost any other factor you could think of) to create a map that highlights areas at highest risk for crime.

For example, say we’re trying to predict the next offense in a series of convenience store robberies. We would map the data about past robberies that we already have, but then we’d also map the locations of all convenience stores. We could even highlight those that have ATMs. Put those maps together, and we would come up with a map that helps predict possible robbery targets. We could also include mitigating factors in these maps. We could determine which convenience stores have security guards or really good theft prevention measures, and their risk would likely fall, and that would be reflected in the map.

Here is an example of RTM at work. The top map shows historic violent crime data in an area of south Kansas City. The RTM created for the map below included specific environmental factors for certain types of violent crime. As you can see, when compared to the single violent crime density layer the RTM highlights smaller, more specific areas where the types of violent crime addressed by the RTM are likely to take place in the future. Another RTM created for the same geographic area may highlight other areas based on the type(s) of crime and environmental factors included in the RTM.

Risk Terrain Modeling could drastically change the way we deploy officers. They would still respond to 911 calls, of course, but their proactive work would be very different. Instead of patrolling geographically determined beats, they would patrol where problems are most likely to occur – areas of highest “risk.” We have limited resources, and we hope RTM will direct officers to where they’re most needed. It also will encourage officers to propose specific strategies to address problems in the areas they serve. (In the convenience store example above, police would heavily patrol around stores most likely to be hit by robbers and talk with store managers about theft prevention measures.)

We think RTM could identify many problems – some of which are beyond police authority – like codes problems, absentee landlords and the like. Ideally, once police identify these issues, everyone else in the community – government agencies and politicians, neighbors, churches, schools, businesses, etc. – can step up to help address the underlying problems that are breeding crime.

Of course no map will be able to predict every crime. It’s a relatively new technique, and like I mentioned, we will begin testing it in the South Patrol Division. Training for staff and officers there will commence soon. RTM could prove to be a very valuable tool in stopping crime before it starts in Kansas City.

You can click on the picture below to see how maps of different datasets come together to form an RTM.

Send comments to

Monday, July 19, 2010

Man who died in double shooting July 15 identified

At about 4:30 p.m. Thursday, July 15, police were called to the 5800 block of Michigan Avenue because of a shooting. They found 21-year-old Stephon J. Robinson dead on the sidewalk. A second victim was taken to an area hospital in a private vehicle and was listed in stable condition. A witness said she heard gunshots and saw Robinson on the sidewalk while a black male teen wearing a white T-shirt fled the scene southbound on Michigan Ave. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Man killed Saturday on Armour Blvd. identified

At about 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 17, a shooting took place at Armour and Campbell. When police arrived, a man was found dead on the sidewalk. He has been identified as 23-year-old Ronnie O. Hughes.  Witnesses said two black male suspects wearing white T-shirts shot Hughes and fled westbound in a green Pontiac Grand Am or Grand Prix. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

License plate readers snag violators

Kansas City Police have a new tool under their belts - automatic license plate readers. Here's a story from our Informant newsletter that explains them, and above is a picture of what the cameras look like mounted to a patrol car:

In about 45 seconds, the MPH 900 can do what it would take an officer and dispatcher more than an hour to accomplish: run a parking lot full of license plates.

Kansas City Police now have seven cars outfitted with the Mobile Plate Hunter license plate reader system, and they hit the road near the end of June. The system takes infrared pictures of license plates and compares them to a hot list database stocked with information about warrants and stolen vehicles. It also archives each vehicle’s plate and maps it, so over time, investigators can follow a car’s movements.

“This is just a tool,” said Sergeant Michael Hicks of the Research and Development Division. “It alerts the officer of a warrant or something wanted on the plate and prompts the officer to call a dispatcher to compare it to the live database.”

The plate reader database is updated just once daily. It includes a prioritized list from criminal justice databases ALERT, MULES and NCIC of things like felony warrants, stolen vehicles and stolen plates. But because those things change by the minute, Sergeant Hicks said patrol officers must work with a dispatcher the old-fashioned way to compare a license plate to the live database that is updated in real time before being able to stop a potential suspect. In fact, Hicks said the cameras were purchased – at the cost of about $24,000 each – in accordance with research the department is doing to develop a real-time crime center.

The cameras are mounted to the back of regularly marked patrol cars. One is deployed in each of the six patrol divisions and one in the Special Operations Division. Sergeant Hicks said they can take pictures at a distance of about 25 to 30 feet and at highway speeds. One system can run 7,000 license plates a day before the data needs to be moved wirelessly to one of KCPD’s servers. Once it’s there, Sergeant Hicks said the real value of the plate readers becomes evident.

“The main benefit is in investigations,” he said. “All the data can be queried later on from the back end in an investigation.”

Sergeant Hicks said he hopes officers run the cameras 24/7.

“The best way to deploy (the plate readers) is to keep them rolling all the time and never stop them so they’re always gathering data,” Sergeant Hicks said.

Work is underway to link the data that will be collected by KCPD’s plate readers with other agencies across the state and around the nation. In the Kansas City area, the Lenexa and North Kansas City police departments already have the plate readers in place, as does the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department.

Send comments to

Friday, July 16, 2010

Police seek teenager missing since July 9

UPDATE: Paul Thurman has been located. Thanks for your assistance.

Seventeen-year-old Paul D. Thurman has been missing for a week. He was last seen on foot near the 3300 block of 24th Street wearing a white T-shirt, black shorts and blue Jordan shoes. He is a black male who is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. His family is worried about his safety.

If you know where Paul Thurman is, please have him contact a family member and call KCPD's Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

KC Bike and Footchase on Sunday will benefit officer whose house burned down

Try to outrun the police (legally!) at the sixth annual KC Bike and Footchase, sponsored by KCPD Friends and Family, the morning of July 18 at Zona Rosa, 8640 N. Dixson.

Day-of registration begins at 6:30 a.m. The bike races (20 miles or 50 miles) begin at 7 a.m., and the 5K run will begin at 8 a.m. The bike course begins and ends at Zona Rosa and goes through some lovely country roads in Platte County. The 5K course will be around Zona Rosa. The event will take place rain or shine.

Registration is $30, and proceeds from this year's race will benefit the family of a KCPD officer who lost everything in a June house fire. For more information or to pre-register, go to

Thursday, July 15, 2010

City Council honors detention officer who will donate her kidney

I've already told you about Detention Officer Tricia Wadell, who is scheduled to donate her kidney to Police Chief Greg Dagnan of Carthage, Mo. Today, the City Council recognized her with a special resolution, and I really want to thank them and Mayor Mark Funkhouser for doing so. Tricia was very honored, and her family came up from southern Missouri to see it. Also in attendance were Chief Dagnan and his wife, who made the trek from Carthage. Chief Dagnan will receive Tricia's kidney in a tandem operation in St. Louis on July 29. Both will take 6-8 weeks away from police work to recover. I wish them the very best.

Send comments to

Homicide victim found in car in McDonald's parking lot identified

At 6:12 a.m. Tuesday, July 13, police were called to McDonald's in the 6400 block of Troost in regard to a suspicious car and occupant. Upon arrival, a black male was found deceased in the vehicle. The man has been identified as 25-year-old Oladimeji Oladipo of Kansas City, Mo. Police are not releasing the cause of death, and detectives ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Narcotics and Vice Quarterly has great information

Because of the kind of under-cover work they do, you typically don't hear very much from KCPD's Narcotics and Vice Division. But every day, they're out there fighting some of the most dangerous criminals in this city, breaking up drug-trafficking rings, fighting crimes like prostitution and illegal gambling and monitoring licensed businesses.

We've long wanted to convey to you what they're doing, and the new Narcotics & Vice Quarterly does just that. This newsletter not only has detailed statistics about where drug busts are taking place, how they're being prosecuted, and what kinds of drugs are most prevalent in Kansas City, it also includes articles about emerging trends in drugs and other illegal activity in the area. The newsletter will be produced quarterly. The first edition covers the first quarter of 2010, January 1 through March 31. The second issue is due out soon. Printed versions of the newsletters also will soon be available at patrol division stations and Headquarters.

Please take the time to read this newsletter. It has important information about a dangerous new way of making meth, potent drugs being marketed to children and illegal gambling machines in the reach of children at Kansas City convenience stores. Also be sure to check out all the ways you can reported suspected drug activity to the police department.

Send comments to

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Patrol division business plans help us reach crime-fighting goals

The Kansas City Police Department is unlike most other businesses you would think of. We’re not interested in sales or profits. But we’re similar to a lot of businesses in that we value customer satisfaction and have set goals and outlined ways to achieve them.

When Deputy Chief Cy Ritter took the helm of the Patrol Bureau in January 2009, he asked the leaders of each of the six patrol divisions and the Special Operations Division to write a business plan. The plans are intended to address how each division will attack crime in their specific area. We did this because the officers and commanders in that area know the concerns and problems of the people in the neighborhoods they serve far better than I or anyone at Headquarters does. For example, the Shoal Creek Patrol Division doesn’t have an officer deployment strategy to address homicides, but the Central Patrol Division does. (SCPD had two homicides last year while CPD had 35.) Shoal Creek does, however, deploy officers to address one of their largest crime problems – thefts from vehicles.

Each division’s plan includes the following:
1. Boundaries and population information
2. A demographic summary of the people who live in the division as well as prominent businesses, retail areas and other unique features within the division’s boundaries, and elected officials who serve the area
3. The make-up of the division station including police officers (and those who have special skills – such as those who speak another language or are trained in dealing with the mentally ill), civilian staff, equipment/vehicles and the condition of those
4. Deployment of personnel on each shift
5. Day-to-day actions and operations
6. Special projects
7. Needs (personnel, equipment, etc.)
8. A “State of the Division” summarizing where it is now and short and long-term goals

Division commanders are required to update these business plans at least once a year and are encouraged to do so more often. We use these business plans at our weekly CSTAR meetings to hold each patrol division accountable to achieving their goals. Many of the goals are linked to the City’s Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

We do not want officers just throwing resources at a problem area. We want them to specifically identify the problem, create a plan to address it and then track and report their progress. The business plans keep us at Headquarters accountable, too. If a division repeatedly tells us they need more officers on a shift or radios for personnel, and we fail to find a way to provide it to them or address the issue in other ways, we have failed them and the citizens of Kansas City.

I just wanted to show you one of the ways we’re holding ourselves accountable, and we ask that you continue to hold us accountable, as well.

Send comments to

Monday, July 12, 2010

KCPD and security for the NAACP convention

As I’m sure you’ve heard, Kansas City is playing host to the national NAACP convention this week. First Lady Michelle Obama spoke at the convention today, and activities have been going on since last week and will conclude on Thursday. Along with the 7,000 to 10,000 people who were expected to attend the convention, there’s also an increased police presence around Bartle Hall, both seen and unseen.

Like other major events that bring a lot of visitors to town, KCPD has been planning for this convention for some time. About 90 officers a day are assigned specifically to this event. They’re in the convention areas and out on foot, ATV, cars and other means. They made certain the many youth who participated in academic competitions last week were safe, and they’re continuing to do so for all attendees this week. Although it’s not officially part of their duty, they’ve also been unofficial city ambassadors – giving people directions, telling them where to find food and the like. Several attendees have told the incident commander of the convention, Captain Floyd Mitchell, how nice everyone has been and how much they like Kansas City.

Police have a big presence behind the scenes, too. A 24/7 command post has been set up in the Marriott Muehlbach tower so police can monitor multiple locations by camera. They can view video from 40 cameras at a time, but with the flick of a switch, they have access to 200 total cameras. That command post is pictured above. An example of how amazing these cameras are happened today as First Lady Obama was making her way into Downtown from the Downtown Airport. Officers watching the camera feeds noticed a man on top of a tall building a few blocks off of Michelle Obama’s motorcade route. Concerned, they zoomed in close enough that they could see the man was wearing a badge from an air-conditioning repair company and was working on the building’s air conditioner and thus determined he didn’t pose a threat to the first lady. Police, did however, continue to monitor him while the first lady was nearby.

The cameras also help direct officers on the ground to any kind of incident or traffic tie-up that might be taking place. Fortunately, Capt. Mitchell reports that there have been no major incidents, and the NAACP convention is going very smoothly.

Rest assured that the rest of the city is receiving no less protection because of the convention. A majority of the officers working there are on special assignment and have not been pulled away from their regular duties. As always, KCPD is dedicated to protecting those who live, work and visit here.

Send comments to

Friday, July 9, 2010

Homicide victim from 2400 block of Myrtle identified

Officers were called to the 2400 block of Myrtle, at about 11:50 p.m., Tuesday, July 6, to investigate a shooting. Upon arriving, the officers discovered two males who were shot. Both men were transported to area hospitals for treatment. One of the men died at the hospital. He has been identified as 43-year-old Exiquio Martinez of Kansas City, Mo. The other male has a non-life threatening injury. Preliminary reports indicate the men were outside when they were shot. They may have been involved in a verbal altercation with suspects prior to the shooting. No suspects are in custody, and detectives ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

DirecTV scam

I wanted to let you know about a scam involving two people who are impersonating DirecTV salespersons. On the afternoon of July 3 in the 1200 block of E. 80th St., a black man in his 40s and a black female in her teens showed up at the door of a house. The man was wearing a yellow tie with a dress shirt and shorts and had a DirecTV badge. The girl had purple hair and a lazy eye.

The duo offered the woman who lived in the house a package of satellite TV, internet and phone for $101. The victim thought it sounded like a good deal, so she signed up for it and paid them, and they gave her a copy of the order form. The man and teenager said a technician would show up the morning of July 5 to install the satellite, but no technician ever came.

Police examined the order form the suspects had provided the victim and called DirecTV. DirecTV personnel advised them that the order number was valid, but it was for another person in another state. They said the man and girl that showed up at the victim's door were fraudulently impersonating DirecTV salespeople. Residents have since said they have seen the suspects' gray Dodge Durango continuing to drive around the neighborhood.

Always be leery of someone coming to your door trying to sell you something. In this case, the suspect even counterfeited a DirecTV badge. If you do not feel comfortable or think it might be a scam, call police.

Send comments to

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Downtown roads closed during presidential visit tomorrow

Six intersections in downtown Kansas City will be closed to traffic tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., during President Barack Obama's visit. The affected intersections will include:
  • 11th and Broadway
  • 12th and Broadway
  • 11th and Central
  • 12th and Central
  • 11th and Wyandotte
  • 12th and Wyandotte
Other roads may be closed throughout the downtown area, but not for an extended period of time.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Impaired driving suspected in multiple fatal crashes over July 4 weekend

This past holiday weekend also was deadly on the roads. A total of five people died in four vehicle crashes in Kansas City from July 2 to 5. Three of the four crashes involved possible impairment (intoxicated drivers) as a contributing factor for the accidents.

Police also conducted a DUI checkpoint at 4040 Main from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday night and early Saturday morning, stopping 745 cars and making 20 DUI arrests. 

These are such scary statistics, and for the loved ones of those who died in this weekend's crashes, they are far more than stats. They are terrible tragedies. Please don't contribute to another tragedy. Never, ever drive intoxicated.

Send comments to 

Homicide victims from deadly holiday weekend identified.

* At about 7:11 a.m. July 3, officers were dispatched to a residence in the 300 block of Topping on a residential burglary in progress. While officers were on the way there, the call was updated to a prowler - male outside the residence, and finally a medical nature unknown. Upon arrival, officers observed the victim deceased in the driveway of the residence. He has been identified as 17-year-old Wilmer Perez of Kansas City, Mo.  Detectives are investigating his cause of death.

* At about 2:51 a.m. July 4, officers were called on a sound of shots in the 1400 blk of E. 10th St. and at 2:57 hours to the 900 blk of Paseo on a shooting. Upon arrival, officers observed two victims at 1401 E. 10th St. with apparent gunshot wounds. One victim, 32-year-old Michael B.K. Butler, was deceased. The second victim, 15-year-old Akeem Y. Wilson, was transported to a local hospital, where he later died. A possible third victim was contacted at a local hospital and is in stable condition.

* Also on July 4, at approximately 3:45 a.m., officers were called to 6409 Manchester on a shooting. Upon arrival, officers located two victims with apparent gunshot wounds. Both victims were transported to the hospital.  One victim was listed in critical condition and the other was considered non-life threatening. The victim with critical injuries later died and was identified as 26-year-old Craig K. Sowell of Kansas City, Mo.

* At about 6:47 a.m. July 4, officers were dispatched to the 500 block of NW 55th Street on a cutting. Upon arrival, officers observed the male victim, 30-year-old Decarlos Henderson of Kansas City and Waterloo, Iowa, suffering from possible cutting wounds. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died. Apparently Henderson had been involved in a domestic dispute prior to his death.  A female was detained at the QuikTrip, not far from the apartment building, and was transported to Police Headquarters for questioning. The woman, 26-year-old Monique M. Walker, has now been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

If you have any information on any of these murders, please don't hesitate to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.

Friday, July 2, 2010

KCPD detention officer to give gift of life to Southern Missouri police chief

Some amazing people work at the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. I've told you many stories of the heroic and selfless things they do, and there's another one I want to tell you about today. But her heroism is different than many of the split-second decisions of bravery officers make in the field. Hers is a thought-out, premeditated and painful act to save someone else's life.

Tricia Wadell is one of our civilian detention facility officers. She works the PM shift in our jail here at police headquarters. I learned about what she is about to do when I got an e-mail from Carthage, Mo., Police Chief Greg Dagnan a couple of weeks ago. Their story will be be published in our Informant newsletter next week, but I couldn't keep this quiet any longer. So to start your holiday weekend off with a warm feeling in your heart, read about what Tricia is going to do for a police chief she didn't even know that well:

A KCPD detention facility officer is making a major sacrifice to save the life of a southern Missouri police chief.

D.F.O. Tricia Wadell, 23, will be giving one of her kidneys to 40-year-old Chief Greg Dagnan of the Carthage, Mo., Police Department in a tandem surgery on July 29 in St. Louis. The operation has a greater-than-95 percent success rate.

“I’m helping out a good person,” D.F.O. Wadell said. “To me, it’s not a big deal.”

Wadell and Chief Dagnan first met in Joplin when Tricia joined that police department’s Explorers program and attended Missouri Southern State University. At the time, Dagnan was working as a reserve officer for Joplin and teaching full time at the college. Wadell had Dagnan for a few classes and ran into him during occasional Explorers work, like at DUI checkpoints. Neither said they knew the other all that well.

Wadell moved to Kansas City in 2007 and transferred her credits to Grantham University. She wanted to enter the Police Academy but was too young, so she went to work in the Detention Unit, which is her current assignment. When she heard Dagnan made chief in Carthage, a town of about 15,000 people roughly 15 minutes east of Joplin, she congratulated him, but that was the extent of her communication with him until an e-mail arrived about a year and a half ago from her mother.

Wadell’s mother goes to a church that is the same denomination as Dagnan’s. Word made it from his church’s prayer chain to the other’s that Dagnan’s polycystic kidney disease (PKD) was destroying his kidneys, and he would soon be in need of a transplant.

“We told folks at our church, and that was it,” Dagnan said. “It’s not something you like bragging about, especially at work. You have that tough-guy image in law enforcement.”

Dagnan had no idea that Wadell had received the prayer chain e-mail about him. Nor did he know that she went and got tested to see if she would be a match.

“I saw an e-mail from her one day, and I thought, ‘Oh, I haven’t heard from her in a while; she must be on the street or something in your department now, and she’s sending me an update,’” he said. “But instead she said, ‘Just letting you know I heard about you. I went and got tested, and I’m the match.’”

Dagnan said he was astonished. He was also humbled because he found out so many people got tested to help him that the hospital asked them to stop coming in because they were overloaded. Dagnan’s kidneys are now functioning at about 10 percent each. With Wadell’s healthy kidney and because he has no other major health problems, doctors have told him he can be back to light duty six weeks after the operation, and full duty at eight weeks. Wadell’s remaining kidney will enlarge to take over for her absent one, and she faces a similar recovery time. 

For her part, Wadell is frightened, but she won’t be deterred.

“I’m scared to death,” she said. “… But I have so much respect for him and his family.”

When she recovers, she’d like another stab at a spot in the Police Academy.

Though both said they weren’t particularly close before, Dagnan said Wadell has become like part of his family now. His wife and four daughters, ages 19, 14, 11 and 8, have embraced Wadell as one of their own, and they all keep in constant contact. Because PKD is genetic, Dagnan fears that two of his girls also could have it, and he asked his wife and healthy daughters not to get tested for him so they could help out his other two daughters if need be. So Dagnan said Wadell is not only sacrificing for him, she’s sacrificing for his whole family.

“That’s probably the biggest gift she has given me – not only to be around for them but to feel good enough that I can be part of the family and be a dad to them,” he said. “… Her selflessness amazes me.”

Detention Officer Tricia Wadell and Carthage, Mo. Police Chief Greg Dagnan

Send comments to 

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Donate a Scout uniform, help build future leaders

I have mentioned before that I am a proud Eagle Scout and now have the privilege to serve as vice president of Urban Scouting on the Boy Scouts of America's Heart of America Council. I believe Boy Scouts provides a solid leadership training program, and I'd like it to be available to as many boys in Kansas City as possible, especially in the urban core. Our Urban Scouting commitee - and a cadre of KCPD officers who were or are involved in Boy Scouts - is working hard to reach these young men.

Unfortunately, many children who could really benefit from Scouting lack the most basic piece of equipment to get started: a uniform. The economic downturn has put a strain on families who would normally be able to afford these basic Scouting items for their sons. That's why we're collecting new or gently used Boy and Cub Scout uniforms at each of our six patrol division stations. New uniforms are available for purchase at the Scout Shop at 103rd and Holmes or Brant's on the Square in Liberty, Mo. Or if your Scout has simply outgrown his uniform but it's still in good shape, we'd love to have that, too.

If you can donate a uniform, you can start the journey of leadership and development for a Scout. Thanks so much for your support.

Send comments to