A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
Commissioner Nathan Garrett, President
Commissioner Don Wagner, Treasurer
Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Member
Commissioner Cathy Dean, Member
Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member
Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney
Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police
This meeting was called to order at 9:36 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett. Everyone in attendance did so via telephone conference. Bishop Mark Tolbert provided the invocation.
Councilwoman Heather Hall. Councilwoman Hall advised that on March 26, 2020, City Council passed the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget. The budget includes $10.6 million increase for the Police Department. Councilwoman Hall noted that the funds for the TIPS Hotline rewards were decreased by $50,000.
Councilwoman Hall advised that on April 9, 2020, during a Business Session Meeting with City Council, SFS Architecture presented information regarding interim detention facility recommendations. Councilwoman Hall advised that SFS Architecture provided two feasible options for short-term solutions. Board members were provided the Power Point describing the options.
Commissioner Garrett thanked Councilwoman Hall for the update on the jail issue. Councilwoman Hall welcomed the Department’s input on the jail options she provided.
Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith spoke about the precautions that the Department is taking regarding COVID-19. He advised that members are encouraged to wear masks and carry hand sanitizer on them at all times. He also advised that the Department purchased an electrosonic sanitizer spraying machine that is being used to disinfect Department facilities and work spaces.
Currently, 65 Department employees are quarantined. Two Academy classes make up the majority of those members quarantined. Eight Department members have tested positive for COVID-19, and there are 12 members waiting on test results. The Academy plans to postpone graduation of the 168th Entrant Officer Class.
Chief Smith advised that crime in the City continues. He noted that a vast majority of the community is complying with the City’s stay-at-home order, and small percentage of the community is contributing to the continued crime. He also noted that speeders on the roadways have increased due to less traffic. Traffic squads are continuing enforcement.
Chief Smith advised that Johnson County is no longer accepting inmates from KCPD. He explained that KCPD Detention facilities at Metro Patrol, South Patrol, East Patrol, and Shoal Creek Patrol remain open. Long-term City arrests are being transferred to Vernon County Jail; there are 60 available beds at Vernon County. State arrests are being transferred to Jackson County Detention Center, and Clay and Platte County jails. Jackson County has started releasing non-violent offenders to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their facility.
In response to a question, Chief Smith advised that the Department’s request of funds for body cameras were not included in the 2012 Budget. He explained that there are many logistical and financial challenges when implementing body cameras, such as storage capacity, interactions with victims, and the Missouri Sunshine Law. The request for body cameras will continue to be a priority for the Department, and will be requested again in the next budget cycle. Chief Smith noted that all patrol cars and a majority of tactical squad cars are equipped with dash cameras. Commissioner Dean hopes the City listens to the community members’ requests for body cameras. Mayor Lucas added that City Council members are not against body cameras; however, the funds are limited and it’s up to the Department to prioritize their money accordingly.
Public Comments. Members of the public submitted comments and questions for the Board through the Board of Police Commissioners’ email address, firstname.lastname@example.org.
An email from Justin Mohn stated, “We are seeing reports across the country of black Americans who follow guidelines to cover their faces in public facing discriminatory policing for doing so. What is KCPD doing in terms of messaging and training its officers to ensure this does not happen in Kansas City?” Chief Smith and Office of Community Complaints Director Merrell Bennekin advised that this has not occurred or been a problem in Kansas City, Missouri. Discriminatory policing that Mohn is referencing is occurring in the state of Georgia, where there is an anti-mask law stemming back to the KKK many years ago. The Office of Community Complaints has not received any complaints of this occurring locally.
An email from Sheryl Ferguson stated, “I’ve heard the conversations about the replacement of the officers’ bullet proof vests. When can I hear the conversation about all officers having body cameras?” Chief Smith directed Ms. Ferguson his earlier comments during his presentation.
An email from Ed Oliver inquired about laws regarding golf carts on the City streets. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman, Patrol Bureau, advised he would contact Mr. Oliver directly to discuss the City ordinances regarding golf carts on public streets.
Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on March 10, 2020. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Executive Services Bureau.Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2019-20. A memorandum dated
March 31, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Public Safety Sales Tax, Police Drug Enforcement Fund, Police Grants Fund, and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Adoption of Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget. A memorandum dated April 1,
2020, was presented to recommend the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget. The total budget for appropriations from all sources is $266,377,193.00, compared to $255,016,844.00 for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. The Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget recognizes appropriations of $249,144,428.00 from the City and $17,232,765 from other sources.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to adopt Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget, as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Excess Workers’ Compensation Coverage EV1943. A memorandum
dated March 23, 2020, was presented to recommend approval to purchase the Excess Workers’ Compensation Insurance Coverage from Lockton Companies, Inc. per the City of Kansas City, Missouri contract #EV1943, for $500,000 in Worker’s Compensation medical expenses/lost wages, and $1,000,000 in Employers Liability (i.e. lawsuit settlements) for the period of May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021, for a total annual premium cost of $171,891.00.
Workers’ compensation premiums are based upon the Department’s estimated payroll of $139,070,093 at the rate of 0.124 per $100.00. The Department’s payroll increased 1.46%, and the premium increased 3% in comparison to the present contract period.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the purchase of Excess Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage from Lockton Companies, Inc., at an annual premium of $171,891.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Blanket Building & Property Insurance EV1943. A memorandum dated
March 23, 2030, was presented to recommend approval of a one-year contract renewal award to provide Blanket Building and Property Insurance Coverage to Lockton Companies, Inc. through Zurich North America per the City of Kansas City, Missouri contract #EV1943.
During the last contract period, the Department’s property values increased 4% from $127,540,321 to $132,949,056. The value is a fluid number that changes during the contract period when the values of contents increase or decrease. By leveraging our values with the City’s coverage, Lockton Companies, Inc. was able to obtain pricing of $204,548.00, which is a 21% premium increase from the previous contract period.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the purchase of Blanket Building and Property Insurance coverage from Lockton Companies, Inc., at an annual premium of $204,548.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Renewal Bid 2017-6: Ammunition/Munitions. A memorandum dated
April 3, 2020, was presented to recommend approval for the renewal of Bid No. 2017-6 for ammunition and munitions at a total anticipated expenditure of $515,272.50. The contract period will be May 1, 2020 through April 30, 2021.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the renewal of Bid No. 2017-6 as presented. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
Police Foundation Project ALPR, Throw Phone, Tools. A memorandum
dated March 25, 2020, was presented to recommend the purchase of ALPR’s, throw phone, and tools at a total expenditure of $687,793.77. The Police Foundation of Kansas City will fund $254,000.00, with the remainder of the project funded from the Public Safety Sales Tax City matching funds.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the purchase of ALPR’s, throw phone, and tools at a total expenditure of $687,793.33. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Deputy Chief True provided an update on the Communications Unit. She advised that the Communications Unit is currently staffed with 89 members, leaving 17 vacant positions. There are currently ten applicants in various stages of the hiring process.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for April 2020. He advised that three members of the 168th Entrant Officer Class have tested positive for COVID-19. He advised that all members that were in contact with the recruits that tested positive have been quarantined as a precaution. Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that the 168th Entrant Officer Class has a few weeks remaining before graduation. A majority of the remaining training is considered hands-on, so training is currently limited. The 169th Entrant Officer Class has started remote learning through webinars and in-person training at the PAL Center. The PAL Center is currently closed to members of the public. All members will be allowed to return to the Academy on April 27, 2020.
Acting Deputy Chief Dull also advised that the four lateral officers that recently graduated were also quarantined since they were in close contact with the positive members. He also advised that PAL and DARE officers have been transferred to Patrol to assist with calls for service during this time. The PAL Center has limited their meal program to once a week during this time to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the Investigations Bureau report for March 2020. He advised that to-date in 2020, there have been 43 homicides, compared to 42 at this time last year. He advised that the Department has not seen a decrease in violent crime during the City’s stay-at-home order due to COVID-19.
There were 36 non-fatal shootings in March 2020, compared to 39 in March 2019. There have been an additional 24 victims as of April 13, 2020. Deputy Chief Francisco advised there have been 100 drive by shootings year-to-date 2020, compared to 113 at this time last year. There were 39 drive by shootings in March 2020, compared to 40 in March 2019. Of the 39 drive by shootings in March, 128 victims were identified; and 17 of the victims sustained injuries.
Deputy Chief Francisco advised that he has received several questions regarding a potential increase in domestic violence during the City’s stay-at-home order. He advised that from March 24, 2020 through now, the 911 Call Center has seen a 22% increase in domestic violence calls. There has been a 13% percent increase in domestic violence reports taken.
Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division Report for April 2020. He advised that Crime Lab personnel have made steady progress in reducing the DNA backlog. All Lab backlog is trending favorably. Deputy Chief Wadle commended Crime Lab personnel on their efforts to reduce backlog. In addition to their normal duties, Lab personnel have produced 100 gallons of hand sanitizer over a two week period. The hand sanitizer was distributed throughout the Department and was made available to members and their families.
Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated April 6, 2020. For this time period, Department strength is 1,312 sworn law enforcement and 554 career civilians.
Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for February 2020. He reminded Board members that the effects from COVID-19 are not captured in these statistics because they are one month behind. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that calls for service have decreased slightly, and response times are trending down.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of March 2020. He advised that total citations are up. The Department has seen an increase of speeding due to fewer cars on the roadways. The Traffic Enforcement Squads have increased speed enforcement. Interstate 435 at Holmes Road continues to be the City’s highest crash location; however, it appears that traffic enforcement is contributing to the decrease of accidents around the City. There have been 15 fatality accidents to-date 2020, compared to 10 at this time last year; 73 percent of fatalities are males, and 71 percent did not use a seatbelt safety device. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that the number of people not wearing seatbelts is increasing.
Commissioner Garrett gave thanks to the officers on the frontlines during COVID-19.
Office of General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeal:
Private Officer License Appeal, Mr. Jessie J. Ross. A memorandum dated February 25, 2020, was presented to recommend the denial of the unarmed private security license of Mr. Jessie Ross. The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(G), which stipulates an applicant may be denied a license if s/he has, “been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor in federal or state court.” Also outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(O), stipulates in part that an applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards and may be denied if s/he has, “provided other facts or actions which demonstrate that the applicant is unsuitable or ineligible for license.” Mr. Ross was denied a license on January 15, 2020, based on his three felony convictions for Homicide/Murder in the second degree, Weapons – carrying concealed, and Weapons Felony Firearm in St. Joseph, Michigan on July 18, 1994.
Mr. Ross joined the meeting via telephone. He explained that he made poor decisions he made in 1994, when he was just 19 years old. Mr. Ross explained that he is currently licensed in Kansas, and would like a chance to pursue a private security career in Missouri. In response to a question, Mr. Ross stated that he has been out of incarceration since 2012 and is not currently under any supervision. He also stated that he has not been in any trouble since his release from prison. When asked if he had gotten in any trouble during his 18.5 years of incarceration, Mr. Ross advised he held several leadership positions in the prison during his incarceration. Mr. Ross thanked the Board for the opportunity to provide additional information regarding his appeal.
Commissioner Garrett advised that he struggles with granting a license to Mr. Ross due to the severity of the crime that he committed. Commissioner Tolbert stated that Mr. Ross has served his time, and is already licensed in Kansas. Commissioner Wagner echoed Commissioner Tolbert’s comments. He also added that Mr. Ross is requesting an unarmed license, and since he has had no issues since his release in 2012, he is in favor of granting the unarmed license to Mr. Ross. Commissioner Dean stated that she has concerns that Mr. Ross did not directly answer the question regarding discipline during incarceration. Mayor Lucas advised he agrees with Commissioner Garrett’s comments.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to uphold the appeal and grant the unarmed private security license to Mr. Jessie Ross. The vote was 2 in favor and 3 against, and thus failed. Following polling, Commissioner Tolbert voted aye, Commissioner Wagner voted aye, Commissioner Dean voted nay, Commissioner Garrett voted nay, and Mayor Lucas voted nay. Mr. Ross’ appeal was denied.
Office of Community Complaints. Director Merrell Bennekin advised that the Office of Community Complaints has currently suspended in-person complaint filing, interviews, and mediations. The OCC has started accepting complaints via telephone calls. Director Bennekin advised complaints will be accepted by phone at 816-889-6640 and by email at email@example.com. The OCC lobby is currently closed; however, complaint forms are available outside of the door. Director Bennekin asks that these forms are submitted via email.
Senior Legal Analyst Karen Williams presented the 2019 Annual OCC Report. Ms. Williams noted that 2019 marks the 50th Anniversary of the OCC. In 2019, the OCC received 274 complaints; 155 of those complaints were forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit for an internal investigation, and 119 of the complaints were categorized as non-investigative. The non-investigative complaints were handled by mediation, conciliation or alternative methods.
The OCC reviewed 142 complaints that were returned by Internal Affairs; of those complaints, nine were sustained, 25 were not sustained, 34 were exonerated, one was withdrawn, 43 were closed, and 30 were closed without cooperation. The non-cooperation rate continues to be a problem. Of the nine complaints that were sustained, four were categorized as improper member conduct and five were categorized as improper procedure. The nine complaints involve 12 officers. Ms. Williams noted despite the increase in crime and calls for service, there was a decrease of three in complaints filed compared to 2018.
Director Bennekin thanked Chief Smith for his responsiveness to concerns and questions regarding COVID-19.
Commissioner Garrett.Commissioner Garrett thanked Mayor Lucas on behalf of the community and the Board for his continued leadership and guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Lucas. Mayor Lucas thanked Commissioner Garrett for his comments. He advised that the City’s stay-at-home order currently expires April 24, 2020, but he advised that it will likely be extended. Mayor Lucas advised that he will meet with Governor Parson with other Missouri mayors to discuss a state-wide opening date.
Mayor Lucas thanked first responders and public service employees for their efforts during this time. Mayor Lucas spoke about the KCFD EMT Billy Birmingham that lost his fight with COVID-19 yesterday. Mayor Lucas advised that the community can call 311 to report offenders of the stay-at-home order. He also advised that the Kansas City earnings tax due date has been extended until July 15, 2020.
Commissioner Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert stated that he is praying every day for the City and Nation’s health and safety during this time.
Commissioner Wagner. Commissioner Wagner echoed comments of Commissioner Garrett and Commissioner Tolbert.
Commissioner Dean.Commissioner Dean echoed Commissioner Garrett’s comments, and thanked Mayor Lucas for implementing proactive measures during this crisis.
Scheduled meetings.The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:
In Re: The Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings of:
P.O. James Peeler #5706
THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CONTINUED FROM ITS CURRENT SETTING OF APRIL 7, 2020, AND WILL BE RESET FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.
April 21, 2020, 10:00 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
This is an open meeting being held to discuss budgetary items via telephone conference.
May 12, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
June 16, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
July 7, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
August 25, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
September 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
October 27, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
November 10, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
December 8, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:21 a.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution. Following a roll call, the vote was 5-0 in favor.
WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on November 5, 2019, and
WHEREAS, said notice indicated that the Board of Police Commissioners might go into closed session during said meeting, and
WHEREAS, notice of the closed meeting follows the guidelines of Section 610.020 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Police Commissioners go into closed session during the meeting being held on Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City, for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, labor negotiations, and litigation matters.
The following Commissioners were present and voted to go into closed session as follows:
Commissioner Nathan Garrett - Aye
Commissioner Don Wagner - Aye
Commissioner Mark Tolbert - Aye
Commissioner Cathy Dean - Aye
Mayor Quinton Lucas - Aye
There being a quorum present and the question of holding a closed session having received an affirmative public vote of at least three (3) members, a closed meeting was held as set forth above.
Below are the votes from the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners meeting on April 14, 2020:
The Board went into closed session at 11:30 a.m. Mayor Lucas left at the beginning of the meeting.
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Wagner, the Board voted to approve the continued employment of Reserve Police Officer Josephine Woods, Detective Barry Berglund, Police Officer John Trainor and Police Officer Alexander Cruz. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
Mayor Lucas rejoined the closed meeting at 11:58 a.m.
Commissioner Tolbert left the meeting at 12:00 p.m.
2) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Wagner, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on March 10, 2020. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Wagner, the Board, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.