Monday, February 27, 2012

What I'm hearing about "Kansas City's finest"

I know the staff of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department has not had it easy the last several years. Aside from a small 2 percent increase in August that was accomplished by not filling more than 100 vacant positions, they have not seen a raise since 2008. But I want you and them to know that they really are “Kansas City’s finest.” They go into situations no one else wants to, resolve problems no one else can and make us proud to call this city home.

Because you rarely hear about all the little, helpful things police do, I wanted to share with you just a sampling of some of the letters I’ve received from citizens in the past few months. If you’d like to let me know about an outstanding KCPD employee, e-mail  

From a concerned father:

“I want to express my thanks to Officer David Lantz of the KCPD for his outstanding professionalism and public service last night in dealing with my son, who was pulled over for speeding. Officer Lantz surely demonstrates the finest example of law enforcement that anyone, and particularly any parent, can possibly expect in their community. I am hoping that Officer Lantz’s excellent discussion with my son has hit a ‘home run’ and that his advice will be something by son takes to heart.”

From a 79-year-old man who hurt his back trying to change a flat tire near Headquarters:

“I walked to the police station and asked for help. Ms. Doris Williams of the Records Unit immediately helped me by calling a tow service and my wife. She let me sit down because I was very disoriented and in pain. After getting in touch with the towing service, Ms. Williams contacted Officer Dave Denney. He took me back to my car, waited until the towing service arrived; made sure I was taken care of and was physically settled. … Both Ms. Williams and Officer Denney really cared about helping me. They went out of their way at a time when I needed assistance. They are two very special people.”

From a neighborhood leader who invited Officers Joe Trombino and Curtis Penyweit and the KCPD roll-over simulator to their festival:

“The presentation was interesting and eye-opening; the officers knew their material and made the information easy to understand, even for children. In fact, the following week, an 11-year-old girl (who had seen the demonstration) was riding in the car with her mother. The mother had placed a barrel in the back seat of the car. The little girl remarked, ‘Mom, get that out of the car! If we had an accident, it would roll over and kill me.’ Her mother mentioned that her daughter was recalling the information that the officers shared about the impact (and crushing weight) that a loose, flying object could have on a person in a roll-over vehicle. We want you to know that we appreciate them sharing such useful information with the children, youth and parents.”

From a worried mother:

“My 15-year-old daughter … ran away today. I am sick with worry. I reported it this afternoon but decided to call North Patrol to see if they had any advice or action I could take. Karen Smith just spent 15 minutes on the phone with me. She made me feel hopeful and not so awful (if that is possible.) I really appreciate the advice and time she spent with me. She is a great person and a wonderful member of your police department. … She was the voice of reason and hope.”

From leaders of a non-profit organization that was victimized by embezzlement:

“We would like to commend Detective Dana Mauzy for her hard work, perseverance, and success in bringing justice to a man who preyed upon a non-profit that serves the most vulnerable citizens in our community – low income, inner-city youth and elderly, as well as the disabled. Her persistence and meticulous preparation of a complex fraud case resulted in an 82-count indictment in federal court.”

From a citizen who rode along with two officers:

“I wanted to let you know about the wonderful experience I had riding along with two of KCPD’s finest, Officer Pegg and Officer Magers. … From the moment the ride-along began, both officers created a professional, safe, informative and friendly atmosphere for this experience. … Throughout this experience, I witnessed both Officer Pegg and Officer Magers diligently serving the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri. Because of these officers and this ride-along experience, I offer my explicit support of your police force. As a KCMO resident, parent and educator, I will seek opportunities to share this wonderful experience within and beyond my community."

From a woman who lost her husband in a car crash:

“How does one find the correct phrase-ology to thank someone who displayed such kindness, professionalism and compassion during the most difficult time? My mere words cannot possibly express the gratitude our family has for Sergeant Jim Fuller. … Sergeant Fuller made the difficult call to notify me of the death of my beloved husband due to a fatal automobile accident. His gentle tone and voice on the long-distance call was one of reason and comfort. … This week, we finally met face to face. Sgt. Fuller and Officer Kevin Gooch came to our home and visited with the family, answering all of our questions. This final act of compassion resulted in a sense of closure for us about the events of that horrible night. … Sgt. Fuller is the consummate professional, and our family is stronger for his diligence to this case.”

From a mom who got lost downtown and found a police officer:

“Officer Dearing was so sweet and helpful. As he was explaining to me how to get to the on-ramp, I think he could tell I might get lost again. He offered to drive us to the ramp in his car, as we followed. It was only two blocks, but great to get a police escort! I’m sure your officers do these helpful things all the time, but people only want to talk about the negative. So I wanted to tell you about the positive. Please thank him for me!”

From another citizen who went on a police ride-along:

“I was so impressed with Officers Glidewell’s and Martin’s ability to handle difficult situations. It was obvious they had been well trained. I was most impressed with their human relations skills in dealing with the public, especially those that were intoxicated. I saw Officer Martin handle an intoxicated man in a skillful manner. As Officer Martin was putting this angry man in the wagon (the man was handcuffed and wearing a padded helmet), he thanked Officer Martin for treating him with respect. Wow! He got the job done and won this man’s respect at the same time.”

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