Monday, July 18, 2016

To our family and friends

Few people in the country right now are as worried when their loved ones go to work as the families of those who work in law enforcement. With the continued violence against police in our country, their spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends are experiencing anxiety and fear. 

I want these loved ones to know that you are on my heart. I care about everyone in this city, and when you hurt, I hurt. The emotions you are experiencing are not to be taken lightly. We have not forgotten about our department members’ loved ones. In fact, you are so important that we know your family members can’t do their jobs without you. It’s important that they come to work each day knowing that someone cares about them and their well-being. It makes the rest of what our department members must face on their shifts much easier.

And I’m not just talking about the family and friends of officers on the street, either. Every member on this department – sworn and non-sworn – is facing new stresses and fears. Those often come home with us and impact our families. KCPD families, please know that I understand what you’re going through. I’ve made the wellness of our members one of my top priorities as Chief of Police. They cannot serve our city effectively if they and their home lives are not OK. As Chief, I experience anxiety for our people, and that goes beyond just who’s on the payroll. It extends to their loved ones, as well.

I went to all six of our patrol division stations yesterday to visit our on-duty officers. I encouraged them – and I encourage all department members – to take time in their shifts to communicate with their family and loved ones. I want them to take some time and stop and call someone who cares about them. It’s important not only for them but also their families.

We, as members of a law enforcement agency, need support and care during these difficult and scary times, but so do our loved ones. I just want these families and friends to know the KCPD and I recognize your vital role and your need to be supported and encouraged, as well. Thank you for all you do.

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Friday, July 8, 2016

Statement on recent violence against police officers

The events in Dallas last night were horrific. I know the hearts of every member of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department – and the hearts of police around the nation – are very heavy today. In the words of Dallas Police Chief David Brown this morning, “Our profession is hurting. Dallas officers are hurting. We are heartbroken. Please pray for our strength during this trying time.”

We know those officers were killed running toward gunshots. That is what police do, and I know our officers would do the same because they have. I am proud of the members of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. I am proud of their bravery and courage. I am proud of the relationships they have forged with other members of our community. I am proud of the way we work together with the other residents of our city to improve the quality of life for everyone. I am proud of our officers’ compassion and judgment. I am proud of their willingness to learn new and better ways of doing things, to embrace change and to protect and serve their community when faced with more scrutiny and danger than ever before. 

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