Thursday, September 30, 2010

Police awarded for making big difference in neighborhood

The officers of the Metro Patrol 210 sector were honored with a Special Unit Citation for their outstanding community policing efforts in a particular Kansas City neighborhood. Check out what they did:

The Eastwood Hills Neighborhood of Kansas City is a much more enjoyable place to live thanks to the work of five dedicated Metro Patrol Division Officers.

Beginning in July 2009, five officers on different watches assigned to the 210 sector had taken it upon themselves to substantially reduce crime in Eastwood Hills. The officers were Terrence Owen, Russell Lee, Angela Conaway, Nathan Magers and David Nathan.

When they weren’t handling other calls, these officers did as much proactive work as they could in the neighborhood. They made 17 state arrests, 60 city arrests, wrote 56 traffic tickets and recovered a firearm and stolen car. They conducted surveillance to catch one suspect wanted for robbery and another wanted on aggravated assault. In three months, the officers attended seven community meetings, most of which they did on their own, off-duty time. They made an effort to get out on foot to get to know neighbors and kept in constant contact with them in person and by e-mail. The officers also organized two Night Out Against Crime events featuring KCPD’s Mounted Patrol and Canine Sections, specialized squad cars and ATVs. Sergeant William Hewitt said the events were heavily attended and strengthened relationships between police and the community.

The officers really focused their efforts on Eastwood Hills from July to October 2009. Compared with the same time period in 2008, suspicious drug activity fell 44 percent, burglaries dropped 38 percent, suspicious vehicles dropped 23 percent and 42 percent fewer groups of juveniles were dispersed.

Letters and e-mails of thanks poured in from the community. One wrote the following in a letter to Chief Corwin in September 2009: “I want to let you know how wonderful it is to have Kansas City’s finest working in our neighborhood. The things they have accomplished here since the first week in July is just about unbelievable. Our life is much better because we feel safer.”

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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Officer saves boy from drowning

Here's another officer with a great story that we honored at our Sept. 23 ceremony. Officer Eric De Valkenaere received the Life-Saving Award for actions he took while he was off duty. The night was really special because Officer DeValkenaere was reunited at the ceremony with the little boy he saved, Levi Martin (they're pictured above). Here's their story:

Officer DeValkenaere was enjoying an afternoon with his children at a neighborhood swimming pool on May 28, 2010, when someone noticed a child at the bottom of the pool.

The unconscious boy was quickly pulled from the water, and Officer DeValkenaere located the boy’s pulse and determined he was not breathing. Officer DeValkenaere then used rescue breathing until the boy spit up water and began shallow breathing.

When officers responded to the scene, they found Officer DeValkenaere holding the boy so he was laying on his side and keeping the boy’s airways open. He continued to talk to the boy and encouraged him to breathe until the boy gained consciousness. The boy was taken to the hospital and discharged with no permanent injury.

Police Officer Michael Wells, who had responded to the call, said Officer DeValkenaere displayed the ability to remain calm during the crisis and perform the actions required to save the boy’s life.

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Victims from last night's homicides identified

Two men were killed last night in unrelated homicides. The first happend at about 8:43 p.m. at an apartment complex in the 11300 block of Colorado. Police had received several calls about gunshots in the area. As the officers were going to the call, they saw a white SUV speeding away from the area of the shooting call.  Believing the vehicle might be involved, they stopped the vehicle at Red Bridge Road and 71 Highway. When they contacted the driver, he told them his passenger had been shot in the apartment complex. Officers found 23-year-old Marquis D. Hughes in the vehicle, and he'd been shot. Hughes was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 9:17 p.m. The driver of the SUV told officers he did not see the shooting, but Hughes called him after he was shot. There were no other people in the SUV and there is no suspect information at this time.

Marquis Hughes

Then at 12:10 a.m., police were called to 12th Terrace and Freemont to investigate a shooting. Officers found 34-year-old Keith D. Williams of Kansas City, Mo., dead of an apparent gunshot wound outside a black Chevrolet Caprice. The car was on Freemont just south of 12th Terrace. The officers also located a second victim - a male in his 30's - near the intersection of 12th Terrace and Bennington, about a block from the first victim. The second male also had been shot and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. Detectives are working to find out what led up to the shooting. There are no suspects in custody.

Keith Williams

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

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Kansas City Police collect 569 pounds of drugs during prescription take-back event

This past Saturday, Kansas City Police partnered with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Kansas City to conduct a prescription drug take-back event at five locations. To prevent abuse (and contanimation of the water supply), we encouraged all residents to bring all their unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs to the drop-off sites anonymously for disposal.

The event was very successful with a total of 569 pounds of drugs collected. Here's how it broke down by location:

East Patrol Division Station (5301 E. 27th St.): 16 pounds
Central Patrol Division Station (1200 E. Linwood): 53 pounds
Zona Rosa (8690 N. Dixson): 160 pounds
St. Matthew's Church (8001 Longview): 281 pounds
Swope Park (Meyer Blvd. & Swope Pkwy): 59 pounds.

That's 569 pounds of drugs that were turned over to the DEA for disposal. That's 569 pounds of drugs that will never make it to the streets and that have no potential to be misused or abused. Thanks so much to all of you who brought your old medications. You are making your community a better place.

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Officer earns medal for rescuing child, dogs from fire

On Sept. 23, we had a large award ceremony at the Police Academy to honor the bravery, leadership and ingenuity of some of KCPD's finest. I'll be posting about several of those awards in the coming days (I was, unfortunately, out of town for the ceremony itself, and Deputy Chief Cy Ritter filled in for me. But I knew all about these stories of courage, and I just had to share them with you.)

I'll start with Officer Timothy Hiner. He earned the Distinguished Service Medal - one of our department's highest honors - for his actions at the beginning of this year. Above, he and Deputy Chief Ritter salute after his medal was bestowed on him. Below is his story:

Officer Tim Hiner was working on a police report in his patrol car just after 3 a.m. January 28, 2010, when he saw car a whizzing down Northeast 45th Terrace near North Brighton. When the driver saw Officer Hiner, he frantically informed him a house was on fire nearby. Officer Hiner went to the house in the 5200 block of Northeast 45th Terrace and saw fire in the northeast corner of the home and power lines arcing above it. He asked dispatchers to send the fire department.

Then, he contacted a woman standing in the front yard. She spoke little English, but Officer Hiner heard her say that her “babies” were still inside. Officer Hiner immediately ran into the burning house. He found a small child in the back bedroom and picked him up but couldn’t find any other children. He took the child to his mother, and asked her about the other “babies” she mentioned. She was able to explain two small dogs were still in the house. So Officer Hiner went back inside again and found both dogs hiding under a large, heavy, sleigh-style bed in another bedroom. The dogs wouldn’t come out, so Officer Hiner lifted the bed himself, grabbed them and took them outside. With the family reunited, Officer Hiner asked the woman again if everyone was out of the house, and she said yes.

Officer Hiner then ushered everyone into his patrol car to get them out of the cold. Even with the language barrier, he asked what he could do to help them, and he notified the Red Cross that the family needed assistance. Once the fire was out, it was clear it was mostly contained to the kitchen area, but there was dangerous smoke damage throughout the house.

Sergeant John Failer said Officer Hiner’s quick actions prevented a tragedy, and he has the courageous and selfless qualities that are instrumental to being a good police officer.

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Police conducting roll calls out in the community

Watch this video to learn more about how our officers are conducting their roll calls outside of the police station and in your neighborhood, at your business or even at your favorite coffee place.

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Police Board to meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 28 at Watkins Cultural Heritage Center.


To make the Board of Police Commissioners more accessible to the public, the Board will have its next regular monthly meeting away from Police Headquarters and in the evening.

The Board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 28, at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center, 3700 Blue Parkway. As always, the meeting is open to the public, and all residents are invited to attend. Public comments will be heard at the beginning of the meeting. The meeting also will feature CSTAR (Comprehensive Strategic Team Accountability Review) reports from the Metro Patrol Division and Narcotics and Vice Division. These reports will highlight each of these divisions’ special projects and crime hotspots.

Click to see the full meeting agenda.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Police encourage residents to bring prescription drugs to national take-back day


Kansas City Police are partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the City of Kansas City in a first-ever nationwide drug take-back day.

Police are encouraging residents to bring their unused prescription and over-the-counter drugs to five take-back locations that officers will be manning throughout the city from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25. The locations are:

• Swope Park, main Building at Gateway Opening, Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway

• KCPD Central Patrol Division Station, 1200 E. Linwood Ave.

• The Grove in Zona Rosa (by Marshall’s), 8690 N. Dixson

• KCPD East Patrol Division Station’s north parking lot, 5301 E. 27th St.

• St. Matthew’s Church, 8001 Longview Rd.

Residents can drop off the drugs anonymously with no questions asked. The Take-Back initiative is intended to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. The D.E.A. cites studies that show a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, often from a home medicine cabinet. The 2008 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found more Americans abuse prescription drugs than those abusing cocaine, hallucinogens and heroin combined.

While this is the first nationwide drug take-back event, this is the third year Kansas City Police have sponsored prescription take-back events.

Not only do unused prescription drugs present the potential for abuse, disposing of these drugs down the drain or toilet can poison the city’s water supply, harming humans and wildlife. For more information, go to

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Officers to conduct neighborhood roll call in Spanish today


KCPD patrol officers have been conducting roll calls out in the community for the past few months, but on Thursday, they’ll do so with a twist.

At 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, eight officers will meet at Holy Cross Parish at 5106 St. John Ave. and conduct their roll call entirely in Spanish. They want to meet with residents of the area, learn about their concerns and build relationships with the community. The officers also will tell residents about what initiatives they’re taking in the neighborhood and share crime prevention tips.

“This will be happening right about when Holy Cross Catholic School gets out, so we hope to connect with a lot of people,” Sergeant Derek Rothert said.

Some of the officers are native Spanish speakers, and others are graduates of the Department’s Spanish Immersion Program, which puts officers through an intensive 10-week course equivalent to four semesters of college Spanish instruction. The top students in the class then spend another five weeks in Mexico taking two more semesters of Spanish coursework. So far, 77 KCPD members have graduated from the course and are more able to communicate with the city’s growing Hispanic community.

Kansas City Police instituted community roll calls this year to get officers more in touch with the residents they serve. Hundreds of officers have now prepared for their shifts by meeting on front porches, at coffee shops, in apartment complexes and parking lots to get to know their communities. They’re gathering important information to fight crime and sharing the best ways they know of to avoid becoming a victim. The Westside CAN Center at 2130 Jefferson St. also will host a community roll call (in English) with police at 8 a.m. Thursday.

If you’d like police to have a community roll call at your home or business, call the community interaction officer in your patrol division or the main KCPD number at 816-234-5000 and say you’d like to speak with the community interaction officer in your area.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Police seek missing woman with Alzheimer's

UPDATE, 1:20 p.m.: Police have located Bertha Washington in Kansas City, Mo., and she appears to be in good health. Thanks for your help.

Kansas City Police are looking for 77-year-old Bertha L. Washington, who was last seen at 6:30 p.m. yesterday, Sept. 21. She left the 4100 block of Agnes on foot and hasn't been seen or heard from since. Ms. Washington suffers from Alzheimer's disease and may appeared confused. Her family is worried about her. She is a black female who is 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 170 pounds. She has black hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt, black pants and black shoes. If you know where she is, please call the KCPD Missing Persons Setion at 816-234-5136.

Monday, September 20, 2010

How the public safety sales tax will affect KCPD

On Nov. 2, Kansas City voters will be asked to extend a quarter-cent sales tax for public safety. The below video explains the impact that tax would have on the Kansas City Missouri Police Department.

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Friday, September 17, 2010

Kansas City Police looking for child safety seat law violators Sept. 19-25


Because car crashes are the number one killer of kids and because nearly 73 percent of all child restraints are not used correctly, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department is joining with other law enforcement agencies for an aggressive Child Passenger Safety Week Enforcement Campaign next week. The goal of the crack-down on Missouri’s child safety seat law violators is to reduce fatalities and injuries to children.

The campaign will run from Sept. 19 to 25 and will involve having extra officers on the streets and highways looking for violations of all types, but the officers will be especially focused on those involving unbuckled children. Missouri law requires all children under the age of eight to be in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat unless they are 80 pounds or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

“Regular child safety seat and safety belt use is the most effective way to protect yourself and your children in a motor vehicle crash,” said Sergeant Grant Ruark of the Traffic Enforcement Unit. “We intend to get this message across to those who do not practice the simple habit of buckling up themselves and their children.”

For more information, visit  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Agencies come together to save newborn babies


Kansas City-area police departments, fire departments, health departments, hospitals and social service agencies are banding together to protect newborn babies.

These agencies have worked together to develop a metro-wide Safe Havens for Newborns community awareness campaign. They launched the bi-state campaign with a press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, in the parking lot west of Ward Parkway Center at 87th Street and State Line Road. Featured speakers at the event included Kansas City Police Chief James Corwin, Leawood Fire Chief Ben Florance, and Florida’s Safe Haven for Newborns founder Nick Silverio.

Both Missouri and Kansas have passed laws designed to protect newborn children from injury and death caused by abandonment. Missouri’s law passed in 2002, and Kansas’ law passed in 2006. But little has been done to educate the public about the laws or notify parents about where they can safely hand over their baby without fear of prosecution. As a result of the Safe Havens initiative, there are now Safe Havens signs available to all Safe Haven agencies in the Kansas City area to post near each building’s entrance.

In Missouri, infants 5 days old or younger can be handed over to an employee at a hospital, police station, fire station or ambulance station. In Kansas, infants 45 days old or younger can be handed to an employee at a fire station, hospital, or city or county health department. The law is intended to protect newborn babies from being abandoned or harmed by their unprepared parents.

Organizers of the Safe Haven initiative believe it could prevent cases like that of a 25-year-old Overland Park woman who gave birth to a baby girl in her parents’ basement on May 31, 2009. She was accused of killing the newborn by asphyxiation and then putting the baby’s body in a refrigerator. She was convicted of second-degree murder in April 2010. Her parents’ home was three blocks from a fire station, where she could safely have handed over the baby and faced no legal repercussions.

The press conference featured 148 pink and blue balloons representing every life saved by the Safe Haven for Newborns program launched by Nick Silverio in Florida. Silverio has been integral to helping the Kansas City metro area replicate the program. Press conference attendees took a balloon or two with them to remind them throughout the day of the difference the Safe Havens program can make.

And here are my remarks from today's press conference, along with some photos:

We at the Kansas City Missouri Police Department were eager to support the Safe Havens program from the get-go. It just makes sense, and it protects the most innocent among us.

In Missouri, you can hand over your newborn baby – up to 5 days old – to an employee at a police station, fire station, ambulance station or hospital. For women who are in crisis and are ready to abandon or harm their babies, this is the best possible option. If the baby has not been neglected or abused, parents will face no legal repercussions for handing it over to someone at a Safe Haven. The baby will receive a physical examination, loving care and a brand new chance at life.

The law in Missouri has been in effect for nearly eight years, but hardly anyone knew about it. We’re here today to change that. I hope that from this day forward, no baby in the Kansas City metropolitan area will be hurt or abandoned because its parents are too ashamed or unable to care for it. There are people out there who do care: police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and doctors and nurses.

All of these people are gathered here today on State Line Road to say we will provide safe places for unwanted newborns across the metropolitan area. Signs like the ones you see here are now at all Kansas City Missouri Police stations and at Headquarters.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Retired detective solved violent murders, faced discrimination

This month's Informant newsletter features an article about a 91-year-old retired KCPD detective who joined the police department before the civil rights movement. Lloyd DeGraffenreid has come back into the spotlight recently for his work on the case of slain civil rights leader Leon Jordan, who was killed in 1970 and whose case we recently re-opened. Check out his story:

An undated personnel photo of Lloyd DeGraffenreid Sr.

At 91 years old, Retired Detective Sergeant Lloyd DeGraffenreid Sr. has retained his sharp memory.

He worked hundreds of cases during his 30 years at the Kansas City Missouri Police Department, and the memory of the 1970 murder of politician Leon Jordan has stayed with him.

“The most memorable case was one I didn’t solve,” Retired Detective Sergeant DeGraffenreid said.

DeGraffenreid joined the police department in 1948, after he had just moved to Kansas City from North Carolina to be with family.

“The Police Department had an advertisement that they needed some negro police officers, so I took the test and passed it,” he said.

A native of South Carolina, DeGraffenreid had a bachelor’s degree from Benedict College and had served five years in the Army as a Sergeant during World War II. He had been teaching at a high school in North Carolina, but the idea of joining the Kansas City Missouri Police Department appealed to him.

“I had spent some time in the army as a military policeman, and I liked it,” he said.

He was promoted to Detective in 1969 and soon was promoted to Detective Sergeant in 1972. There he worked in the Homicide Unit, which he said was the highlight of his career.

“People were just killing each other for nothing,” he said. “It kept me pretty busy, and it was interesting.”

He said he had good partners during his time in the Homicide Unit—first Detective Sylvester Young Sr. and later he worked with Detective Gene Buie.

“We knew practically everybody in town,” DeGraffenreid said. “We knew all the places we could go to get information and solved a lot of cases.”

But after working on the Leon Jordan case for two years, DeGraffenreid took a break from detective work and worked as a Sherriff for the Jackson County Jail for three years.

He went back to his detective work at the Kansas City Police Department in 1975 and retired six years later after 30 years of service.

DeGraffenreid recently returned to the police headquarters at the March 23 Board of Police Commissioners Meeting, when former police officer Alvin Brooks was sworn in as a new Police Commissioner.

DeGraffenreid had served as Commissioner Brooks’ training supervisor when Brooks first joined the department in 1954. The two had remained friends ever since.

“He was an excellent detective and a good mentor,” Brooks said.

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Police seek woman missing from Northland since Sept. 10

UPDATE: Cathleen Butcher's family has located her. Thanks for your assistance.

Kansas City Police are looking for 53-year-old Cathleen M. Butcher. She hasn't been seen since about 1 p.m. last Friday, Sept. 10. She was last seen leaving the 4200 block of North Brighton. She suffers from depression and has suicidal tendencies, and her family is worried about her. Cathleen is white, 5 feet 5 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. She has brown hair and brown eyes. If you know where she is, please call the KCPD Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Reward increased to $4,000 in Lance Rutter homicide

A donation from the victim's mother has increased the reward for information in the homicide of Lance Rutter to $4,000. Rutter, 23 years old, was killed just after 5 a.m. Aug. 7, 2010. He had just returned from work and was sitting on his porch at 3807 Baltimore talking to his roommate. Police believe Rutter was the victim of a robbery turned deadly.

Information leading to an arrest or the filing of felony charges in the case could be eligible for the $4,000 in reward money from the Greater Kansas City Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline. If you know anything about Mr. Rutter's murder, please call TIPS at 816-474-TIPS (8477). You can also submit tips electronically at or by texting TIP452 and your information to CRIMES (274637).

Man killed at 12th and Brooklyn identified

At about 12:28 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 9, officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of Brooklyn on a shooting. They found a man unresponsive at the bus stop, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 36-year-old Montra Johnson of Kansas City, Mo. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Friday, September 10, 2010

Ordinance now protects police animals

Our Informant newsletter this month features an article about a new city ordinance we're very pleased out. It's aim is to protect police animals from harm. Here's the story:

When a police horse got smacked in the face earlier this summer, there was little officers could do.

Two Mounted Patrol officers were talking to a woman at 39th and Main streets when, with no provocation, she reached up with an open hand and slapped one of the horses. There were no charges the officers could bring that would hold up in court, until now. Working with KCPD, the Kansas City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on August 26 that makes it against the law to abuse or interfere with a police animal.

“Police service animals serve their communities alongside their human partners,” the ordinance resolution states. “They are active members of law enforcement, yet they are treated as simple items of property by the law if maltreated, injured, or killed while performing the tasks required of them.”

Under the new ordinance, anyone who abuses or interferes with a police animal faces penalties of up to a $500 fine and/or 180 days in jail, City Prosecutor Beth Murano said.

Captain Randall Jacobs of the Patrol Support Unit said drunken Westport patrons have thrown bottles at horses and physically struck them in the sides and rear. The strikes weren’t aimed at the officers on the horses but the animals themselves, so the suspects couldn’t be charged with assault on an officer, and their actions didn’t usually rise to the level of animal cruelty charges. Five years ago, a suspect bit a portion of a police dog’s ear so hard the dog required veterinary treatment. All police could do was ask prosecutors to please tack on an animal abuse charge to the other charges the suspect faced.

“There was nothing that really specifically addressed the situation,” Murano said.

Now anyone who mistreats a police horse or dog can be charged with that specific offense in Municipal Court. The ordinance also makes it illegal to release a police animal without its handler. For example, anyone who is not the animal’s handler and lets a police dog out of a car or a police horse out if its trailer faces charges. A suspect also would face charges if he or she taunts or torments a police animal or feeds it without the permission of the handler.

“You can still pet the horses, but this would take care of someone slapping them,” Captain Jacobs said.

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

83 arrested for DUI in two-week enforcement campaign


Joining other law enforcement agencies across the nation, the Kansas City Missouri Police Department recently focused extra enforcement efforts on impaired driving laws during the You Drink & Drive, You Lose campaign August 20 through September 6. During the effort, the DUI Section conducted four sobriety checkpoints and one DUI Wolfpack in addition to regular-duty-hour DUI enforcement. Jackson County Sheriff Deputies and Missouri State Highway Patrol Troopers assisted with some of the checkpoints. Resulting from this enforcement effort was the following arrest activity:

Vehicles stopped-2,635
DUI Arrests-83
Driving While Suspended/Revoked-9
Hazardous Moving Violations-56
Other Traffic Violations-12
Possession of Cocaine-1
Possession of Marijuana -2
Felony Eluding-1
Ignition Interlock Device Violation-1
City warrant arrests -4

Driving while intoxicated remains one of the top causes of fatal car crashes in Missouri. In 2009, 268 people in Missouri were killed and 1,134 seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver. Enforcement efforts like this one help to take impaired drivers off the road and make travel in Missouri safer.

For more information on impaired driving visit

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Police looking for missing elderly woman with Alzheimer's

UPDATE, 9:55 a.m.: Police in Nevada, Mo., have located Virginia Carter in good condition. Thanks for your assistance.

Kansas City Police are trying to find 75-year-old Virginia L. Carter. She was last seen in the Northland at about 9:30 a.m. yesterday, Sept. 8. She was headed to Clinton, Mo., but never arrived. She was driving a green 2001 Toyota Camry with Missouri license plates AB0-N5N. Virginia is a white female with gray-brown hair and brown eyes. She is 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 145 pounds. She is in the early stages of Alzheimer's. If you have any information about her whereabouts, please call 911 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Police seek man last seen Sept. 1

Kansas City Police are looking for 50-year-old Keith W. Shaw, who was last seen a week ago today. At about 8 a.m. Sept. 1, Mr. Shaw left the 4200 block of E. 67th Terrace to go to work near 20th and Main. He has not been seen or heard from since. He was last known to be wearing a black T-shirt, black pants and black shoes. Mr. Shaw is black, 5 feet 3 inches tall, and weighs about 120 pounds. He has black hair and hazel eyes. His family is concerned for his well-being. If you know where Keith Shaw is, please call KCPD's Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.

Five people killed in first eight days of September


September has started out as a deadly month in Kansas City with five homicides in the first eight days. There have been 78 homicides so far this year, compared to 83 at this time last year. Detectives are working hard to bring justice in these cases, but they need your help. If you have any information, you can share it anonymously through the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477). You can even text a tip by texting "TIP452" plus your message to CRIMES (274637). Special software scrubs your phone number off of the text, so it too remains anonymous.

The latest homicide victim identified is 23-year-old Andrew Suttington. At about 9:48 p.m. Monday, Sept. 6, officers were dispatched to 28th and Highland on a cutting. When they got there, officers found Suttington in the street near the intersection. He was prounounced dead at the scene. A suspect has since turned himself in, and the case file has been given to the prosecutor's office.

Another homicide took place last night at 7007 Longview Road, and the victim has been identified as 29-year-old Darrel E. Wright Jr. of Kansas City, Mo. Officers were called to the address, an Express Mart, at about 10:57 p.m. yesterday, Sept. 7. They found Wright dead in the parking lot of the business. The man was with a woman who did not get shot. Two male suspects left in a vehicle. The victim and suspects were talking before the shooting, but police are still trying to figure out what led to the shooting. They're also trying to get more information on the suspects. 


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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Man killed at gas station Friday identified

At about 6:54 p.m. September 3, officers were dispatched to the Shell gas station at 5501 Bannister Rd. on a disturbance. The call was later updated to a shooting.

Upon arrival, officers found 21-year-old Frederick C. Jones Jr. in the parking lot of the gas station suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital where he died a short time later. No charges have been filed at this time. Call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Slain driver identified

At about 10:41 p.m. Sunday, September 5, officers were dispatched to Gregory and Prospect on a shooting. Officers located two victims in a vehicle just south of the intersection suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The male driver, 27-year-old Thomas Simmons of Kansas City, Mo., was pronounced dead at the scene. The female passenger was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries. She was later upgraded to stable condition.

Another victim was located west of the intersection. Their vehicle had been hit by a bullet while traveling westbound on Gregory at the time of the shooting. No one was injured.

There are no suspects in custody at this time, and detectives ask anyone with information to call the TIPS Hotline 816-474-TIPS (8477).

Learn more about how the real CSI works in Kansas City

This video featuring KCPD Crime Lab Director Linda Netzel delves into our DNA backlog, how DNA is obtained and processed, and how a piece of forensic evidence makes its way from a crime scene to a courtroom:

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Friday, September 3, 2010

Don't leave items of value in your vehicle

The city’s North Patrol Division continues to experience a persistent problem of thefts from vehicles. Year-to-date, items stolen from vehicles comprise 26 percent of all reported crime in the division and 48 percent of all theft there. The most frustrating part about this is that almost all of these thefts could have been avoided. The key to prevention? Not leaving items in your car.

The most commonly stolen item is purses, and others often include cell phones, wallets, GPS devices and brief cases. Often the victims of these thefts think it’s OK to leave such items in plain view in their car because they’ve locked their doors. Someone who is going to steal your purse probably has few misgivings about breaking your window, as well. Then, think about the cascade effect: you have to pay to replace the window (and possibly the door frame if the thief tried to pry your car’s door open); the thief will likely use your credit cards, and it wouldn’t be unfair to assume you’ll be the victim of identity theft, as well.

Most of the time, police are unable to recover the stolen property (your chance of getting it back does increase if you’ve recorded the serial numbers of any items that have them – police can trace them if they end up in pawn shops). We expend a vast amount of investigative resources on crimes like these that have little chance of being solved and that most likely could have been prevented. If you must leave something of value in your car, put it in the trunk before you get to your destination.

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Notifying families of shooting victims

Recently, there was a misunderstanding regarding notification of families when someone is shot. In the case in question, a man was shot and transported to an area hospital. He was checked in at about 5:30 p.m. An investigative sergeant gave the hospital the man’s identity at about 7 p.m. The man died at about 2 a.m. His family told reporters they were not notified he was in the hospital until after he died.

In this case, hospital staff are responsible for notifying family when someone is in their hospital for treatment. Police officers and detectives will assist the hospital with identifying patients when necessary. Hospitals are better equipped to deal with family members who may have questions about medical conditions and prognosis. Typically, the only time detectives or police officers will notify family is when someone is dead at a scene or dies shortly after arriving at the hospital.

We extend our sympathy to this family during their time of grieving, and we look forward to bringing the people responsible for this senseless crime to justice.

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Police seek man missing since August 26

UPDATE, Sept. 3: Mr. Mitchell has contacted investigators and is OK. Thanks for your assistance.

Kansas City Police are looking for 58-year-old James E. Mitchell, who has not been seen or heard from for a week. Mr. Mitchell was last seen the morning of August 26 at 10545 Washington St. He suffers from several medical issues, and his family is concerned for his well-being. Mr. Mitchell is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs about 200 pounds. If you know where he is, notify the Missing Persons Section at 816-234-5136.