Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Annual Memorial Service

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department will honor its 119 officers killed in the line of duty throughout the department’s history with a Memorial Service beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 23. Due to renovations at Headquarters, this year’s service will be at a new venue, Kansas City Regional Police Academy’s Sports Field located at 6885 NE Pleasant Valley Rd., Kansas City, MO. We may be in a different place, with a newer and different look, on this year’s day of remembrance, but the sacrifices of those who died serving our community are with us everywhere.

The service will include an honor guard, a 21-gun salute, the KCPD Color Guard, bagpipers, a flyover by the police helicopter, and a riderless horse. Supervisor L.C. Clark will read the names of all KCPD officers killed in the line of duty – the first in 1881 and the last in 2001. There will be 119 flags on display representing each one of these officers. For 119 hours preceding the service, dispatchers read one officer’s name per hour over the police radio system. The last officer’s name, Craig Schultz, will be read immediately before the ceremony begins Thursday.

In the event of rain, the ceremony will take place inside the gymnasium of the Academy.  I encourage everyone to attend the ceremony and for all to keep in mind the sacrifices our officers make to keep our community safe.  Their commitment to excellence is our community’s benefit. 

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Monday, May 20, 2013

Click It or Ticket

Press Release:

Kansas City, Missouri – The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department will begin enforcing the City’s new primary seat belt ordinance today the first day of the two-week nationwide “Click It or Ticket” campaign.  The ordinance passed the City Council in early April and the department has been conducting a public information campaign since then to make citizens aware of the change.  This week, officers will be handing out informational pamphlets to motorists at major intersections around the city and to those that are stopped for traffic violations.

The new primary ordinance will allow police officers to stop a vehicle solely for lack of seat belt use by the driver or any front-seat passenger.  Before, another violation was needed to be able to enforce the secondary ordinance.  The new fine for a seat belt violation is $50.00, up from the previous $10.00.

“This is the perfect time for this new ordinance to go into effect,” said Sgt. Grant Ruark of the Traffic Division.  “We believe this will make a significant difference in our ability to raise the seat belt usage rate in our city.  Our rate of 79% is well below the national average of 86% and with nearly seven out of ten victims of fatality accidents in a passenger vehicle being unbuckled, something had to be done.  We hope that our citizens will buckle up and “Arrive Alive.”

Traffic officers will be conducting overtime enforcement in addition to their regular duties during the “Click It or Ticket” mobilization which ends June 2nd.

For more information on Missouri seat belt usage, visit www.saveMolives.com

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Friday, May 3, 2013

Cops and Kids Working Together

The Police Athletic League (PAL) is a non-profit organization, staffed by KCPD officers, that offers athletic and academic programs to about 700 urban-core children. The center experienced its most generous year of donations ever, allowing it to upgrade facilities and provide more programs for inner-city youth.

We recently celebrated our Grand Re-Opening of the PAL Center located at 1801 White Avenue on May 1. At the ceremony we were able to showcase the new NFL Chief’s football field with a ribbon cutting, presentation of awards to major donors and honoring the PAL board members. Among those recognized were Curry Real Estate Services, Messengers Lawn and Landscapes, Paul Davis Restoration, United Heating & Cooling, Mark One Electric, The American Fence Association Midwest Chapter and PAL Board Members Nancy Simons, Jim Carr, Larry Washington, Mike Carter, Cindy Mason and Web Bixby.

The donations resulted in a new air conditioner and duct work, partial new roof, landscaping, lighting for new athletic fields, storage sheds and more. More than 50 local businesses supported PAL in 2012 through $750,000 in donations, about a third of those were in-kind. Many came through Christine Lentz of Curry Property Management.

All of the donations have led to a better PAL Center, which is more than 50 years old, and programs that attract more youth. Those youth, in turn, focus their time and energy on something positive to develop critical life and leadership skills instead of becoming involved in criminal activity. The positive relationships they develop can be attributed to both the generous donors and the dedication of the officers involved.

PAL hosted the Upper Room Summer Academic Program for the second year, which helped 180 children come to read at grade level. The program also provides them food, something many don’t get as much of during the summer when schools and their lunch programs are out of session. PAL introduced sewing and gardening programs in 2012 to appeal to more youth, which have drawn great interest. A 7th/8th grade football team also took the field for the first time.

This year will be the first time the PAL Center will be a host site for Harvesters, the Community Food Network, which will serve approximately 300 people. I want to thank all those involved in making the PAL Center what it is today. We hope to continue to explore innovative and exciting avenues to keep Cops and Kids Working Together.

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