April 27, 2021 Meeting

Publish Date 04/27/2021

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

 

PRESENT:

 Commissioner Mark Tolbert, President

Commissioner Cathy Dean, Vice President

Commissioner Nathan Garrett, Treasurer

Commissioner Don Wagner, Member

Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member

Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney

Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police

 

This meeting was called to order at 9:32 a.m. by Commissioner Wagner.  Chaplain Herman Gantt provided the invocation.  Commissioner Wagner led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

  1. Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee. Councilwoman Heather Hall attended the meeting on behalf of the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee.  Councilwoman Hall spoke about the American Rescue Plan and COVID-19 relief funds.  She advised that City Council is reviewing a draft ordinance for fund allocations.  The Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee added a $9.2 million supplemental appropriation request to restore the Police Department’s budget and to hold a new Academy class.  Councilwoman Hall advised that in order for this to pass, it needs seven Councilperson votes in favor.  Council is expected to vote on this within the next few weeks. 

            Commissioner Garrett asked how the Police Department funding compares to the Fire Department.  Councilwoman Hall advised that the Fire Department got their public safety sales tax passed in a recent election.  The Police Department was not included in this public safety sales tax.    Therefore, KCFD’s budget hasn’t taken the hit that the KCPD’s has because of this tax funding.

             Councilwoman Hall advised that the $9.2 million allocation to KCPD would include $2.8 million for an Academy class of 50 members to begin in June 2021, $2.8 million to provide an annual step increase for personnel salaries, and allows $3.6 million in budget restoration funds for contractual obligations.  Commissioner Garrett thanked Councilwoman Hall for her advocacy for the Department, especially during these times of defunding and demoralizing police.  Councilwoman Hall stated that KCPD is getting a lot of blame for the actions of other departments across the country.     

            Councilwoman Hall advised that Chief Smith and KCPD’s Human Resources Division worked together to secure a tax savings plan benefit, the Missouri ABLE program, for personnel that have family members with disabilities.  Councilwoman Hall believes this is an important benefit for Department members, and was long overdue.  She thanked Chief Smith and Human Resources personnel for their work on securing this benefit for Department members’ families.

            Mayor Lucas advised that he appoints Councilmembers to committees that they are passionate about.  He believes Councilwoman Hall has always been a strong advocate for the Police Department, and is why he selected her to serve as Vice Chair of the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee.  Mayor Lucas asked Chief Smith to provide an update on budget discussions with the City Aviation Department.

            Chief Smith advised that he met with the City Manager Brian Platt.  They spoke about the financial costs of having KCPD police the airport.  They will have future discussions and presentations to determine how this will be funded.  Mayor Lucas advised that the Department has loaned millions of dollars in personnel to the Aviation Department, and has not been refunded for these salary expenses.  The Aviation budget comes from the City’s enterprise fund, not the general fund.  Paying KCPD personnel assigned to the Airport with enterprise funds would take approximately $5 million off the general fund’s books each year.   

In response to a question, Mayor Lucas advised the City has moved away from private security at the airport, and has requested KCPD to take over policing efforts.  This is because KCPD has more training and resources to police an airport, such as handling terroristic threats and mass shootings.  The enterprise fund is funded with airport and airline revenue, not tax payer dollars.  Mayor Lucas advised that the Department needs to be compensated up front for the personnel allocated to the Airport.   

  1. Getting to the Heart of the Matter. Pastor Darron Edwards spoke about Getting to the Heart of the Matter, a partnership of local churches and KCPD joining together to establish trust and reduce violence within the community.   Pastor Edwards shared these words, “I would rather stand in the middle and seek solutions, than stand on the wall doing nothing, saying nothing, or screaming/shouting.”  He advised that it time for people to come together to seek solutions to problems. 

Pastor Edwards advised that Getting to the Heart of the Matter has hosted five meetings so far in 2021, with over 100 key stakeholders, neighborhood leaders, and Community Interaction Officers, at five of the six Patrol Division Stations.   During these meetings, leaders discuss the issues that are plaguing the City.  Pastor Edwards spoke about the challenges the nation has faced during the past year.  He stated that it will take everyone coming together at the table to bring solutions to these challenges.  He advised that good community leadership has four seeds: 1) Good leadership does not compete, 2) Good leadership does not compare, 3) Good leadership does not complain, and 4) Good leadership does not care who gets the credit.

Pastor Edwards quoted Former Board member and friend Bailus Tate, “No city is greater than its neighborhoods.  No neighborhoods are greater than the families that are there.  No families are greater than their children.  And, if you want to live in a great city, you have to go and instill those things you feel strongly about into those sectors.”  Pastor Edwards advised that this quote reflects what Getting to the Heart of the Matter is all about.  He read a collective statement from Chief Smith, the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99, and Getting to the Heart of the Matter leadership Pastor Darron Edwards, Pastor Ron Lindsay, and Dr. Emanuel Cleaver III that will be released to the media following this meeting.  This statement speaks about the steps Getting to the Heart of the Matter is taking to rid the Department of intentional and/or unintentional systemic racism and ensure that policies and practices are equal for all.

Pastor Edwards advised that Getting to the Heart of the Matter’s next step is to engage further with the Board of Police Commissioners.  He invited Board members to meet with Getting to the Heart of the Matter for additional discussion towards solutions.  Commissioner Garrett expressed his appreciation for Pastor Edwards and Getting to the Heart of the Matter’s efforts, and thanked him for the meeting invitation.  Commissioner Garrett, and other Board members will make themselves available to meet. 

Mayor Lucas inquired about broadening collaboration with community groups, such as Urban Summit, NAACP, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and many others.  Pastor Edwards advised that Getting to the Heart of the Matter has extended invitations to well over 250 community members and groups prior to each meeting, month after month.  Pastor Edwards advised that the groups Mayor Lucas named have declined every meeting invitation.  He also stated that the need to come together is at an all-time high.  Mayor Lucas advised that all voices need to be heard, in order to come together and build trust in the community long-term.

Commissioner Garrett stated that there is politics and problem solving in everything.  He advised that some of the groups screaming the loudest for change have no interest in problem solving.  Commissioner Garrett thanked Pastor Edwards for his realistic approach and genuinely constructive conversation.  He stressed the importance of listening to each other’s side.  He spoke about the profession of policing, and the experience and knowledge it takes for someone to truly understand it.  Commissioner Garrett stated that the groups calling for change have no knowledge or understanding of policing, and their refusal to participate in constructive conversation gets us nowhere.

Commissioner Tolbert advised that we have to get to a place where everyone’s opinions are heard and matter.  He explained that there must be compromise amongst the different groups in the community.  If everyone is heard, then we can move towards something progressive together.   

  1. Chief Richard C. Smith. Chief Smith thanked Councilwoman Hall for her efforts in bringing the Missouri ABLE program to the Department.  He explained this benefit will be helpful to many Department members and their families.  Chief Smith announced the promotion of Major Michael Hicks, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Mike Wood to Deputy Chief.  These promotions will take effect Sunday, May 2, 2021.

            Chief Smith spoke about the City Auditor’s report on the Parking Control Section.  Chief Smith believes the Auditor’s report was misleading, and advised that the City Manager wants to return parking control enforcement to the City.  The Auditor’s report stated that KCPD is not committing to the ten parking control officers (PCOs) to the downtown area as required by the April 2018 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). 

            Deputy Chief Karl Oakman explained that the Department had four PCOs at the time the MOU was executed.  By June 2018, the Department had increased the number of PCOs to 11.  In July 2018, there were nine PCOs, eight in August 2019, and nine in September – December 2018.  By January 2019, PCOs were increased to 11.  This remained steady until another increase in April 2019.  The Department had 14 PCOs from April – July 2019.  In August 2019, staffing of PCOs dropped to 12.  From September to December 2019, there were 11 PCOs.  From January to March 2020, there were 12 PCOs.  From April to June 2020, there were 11.  From July to September 2020, there were ten PCOs.  In October to December, there were nine PCOs. 

            At the beginning of 2021, two Black male PCOs and one Black female PCO left KCPD to pursue careers with another law enforcement agency, leaving staffing at 6 PCOs.  Deputy Chief Oakman advised that these minority PCOs were in KCPD’s process to become law enforcement officers, but chose to accept positions with other local agencies due to KCPD’s hiring freeze.  Deputy Chief Oakman advised that Department continues to lose qualified minority candidates to other agencies due to the current hiring freeze. 

There are currently nine PCOs, and they are responsible for parking control across the City.  Chief Smith spoke about 311 complaints and parking problems all over the City that the Auditor’s report did not address.  He also advised that the Department encountered fewer traffic and parking problems downtown during the pandemic.  The reduction of citations was due to the reduction of cars parking downtown during the stay-at-home order.  Deputy Chief Oakman added that citations aren’t the end goal in parking control.  Parking Control Officers attempt to have the driver move their vehicles before citations and tows are issued.  Deputy Chief Oakman advised that the Department will provide a detailed response to the City Auditor’s report.  He also noted that the Department continues to hiring parking control officers despite the current hiring freeze.   

  1. Public Comments. Stephen Georgeulakos spoke about a 2017 incident where he encountered private security officers at a local grocery store.  He advised that he was forcefully removed from the store by officers and told not to return.  He believes he was targeted because he is an openly gay man, and he does not feel safe in Kansas City.  He reported the incident to KCPD, and feels unheard by the Department.   He believes policing needs to change, and advised that police need to stop brutalizing minorities (race, groups, communities, etc.).

            Sheryl Ferguson empathized with Mr. Georgeulakos.  She requested the Board listen to the concerns of her, Mr. Georgeulakos, and the many protestors calling for change.  Ms. Ferguson requested that the Board open its future meetings to the public, to mirror the Mayor’s Order that becomes effective on May 1, 2021.  Ms. Ferguson spoke about warriors versus guardians, and asked Chief Smith how he viewed himself and the Department.  Ms. Ferguson shared a reading with the Board. 

  1. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on March 23, 2021.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.
  2. Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
  3. Bid No. 2021-7, Ammunition/Munitions. A memorandum dated April 16,

2021, was presented to recommend approval to award Bid No. 2021-7 to Gulf States Distributors by use of a cooperative procurement contract (State of Missouri Contract #CC2200147001).  The cooperative procurement contract expires November 18, 2021, at which point Gulf State Distributors’ pricing would take effect. The initial contract period is from May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022, with an option to renew for three additional one-year periods.  The expenditure is not to exceed $660,183.00, and is anticipated at $614,672.00.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to award Bid No. 2021-7 to Gulf States Distributors for ammunition/munitions, at an anticipated expenditure of $614,672.00, and not to exceed $660,183.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Donation Acceptance – Police Foundation of Kansas City. A memorandum

dated April 19, 2021, was presented to recommend acceptance of $69,693.00 donation from the Police Foundation of Kansas City, to be used peripheral accessories for full implementation of the body-worn camera system, consisting of charging stations and mounts.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to accept a donation in the amount of $69,693.00 from the Police Foundation of Kansas City, to be used for the purchase of charging stations and mounts for the body-worn camera implementation.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Body-Worn Camera Accessories Purchase. A memorandum dated April 19,

2021, was presented to recommend approval to purchase peripheral accessories, for full implementation of the body-worn camera system, from Turn-Key Mobile.  The total expenditure is $69,693.00. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the purchase of peripheral body-worn camera accessories from Turn-Key Mobile, at a cost of $69,693.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Arbitrator In-Car Camera System Equipment.  A memorandum dated April 15, 2021, was presented to recommend approval to purchase Arbitrator camera units, charging stations, and service bundles from Turn-Key Mobile, at a cost of $416,845.00.  This purchase will utilize In-Vehicle Mounted Digital Video Recorders and Software Management System funds.  

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the purchase of Arbitrator camera units, charging stations, and service bundles from Turn-Key Mobile, at a cost of $416,845.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.       e.         2021 COMBAT Commission Law Enforcement School Based Initiative Cooperative Agreement.  A memorandum dated March 29, 2021, was presented to recommend approval of a one-year agreement for the 2021 COMBAT Commission Law Enforcement School Based Initiative (formerly known as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education DARE Program).  Jackson County, Missouri has awarded $300,000 to the Department for this initiative.  The funding is for the period of January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. 

            In response to a question, Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull advised that DARE officers are currently instructing in-person classes and virtual classes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Mayor Lucas requested a presentation regarding the operation of the DARE Program at a future meeting.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the one-year agreement for the 2021 COMBAT Commission Law Enforcement School Based Initiative.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Midwest HIDTA Task Force Grant Agreement #G21MW0005A.  A memorandum dated March 30, 2021, was presented to recommend approval of Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force award in the amount of $1,105,945.00.  This is the 24th year of funding, and is 100 percent federally funded.  The award period is January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to accept the Midwest HIDTA Task Force award #G21MW0005A, in the amount of $1,105,945.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. HIDTA Metro Drug Task Force #G20MW0005A.  A memorandum dated April 6, 2021, was presented to recommend approval of a modification to the 2020 HIDTA Metro Drug Task Force Initiative #G20MW0005A.  This modification increases the award by $24,084.00, to pay for GPS for Success Training.  This award is now $1,000,172.00, combined with the HIDTA Violent Crimes Task Force in the amount of $129,857.00, to create an overall award amount of $1,130,029.00. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the modification to the HIDTA Metro Drug Task Force Award #G20MW0005A.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Blanket Building & Property Insurance Coverage.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend approval of a one-year contract renewal, for blanket building and property insurance coverage, with Lockton Companies, Inc. through Zurich North America.  Lockton Companies, Inc. has provided renewal pricing per the City of Kansas City contract EV1943 at an anticipated expenditure of $243,500.00, for the period of May 1, 2021, through April 30, 2022.  This is a 20 percent premium increase from the previous contract.  Deputy Chief True explained that the premium increase was due to the Property and Evidence Warehouse fire in 2018.  In response to a question, Deputy Chief True explained that the City carries insurance on the building, but KCPD carries insurance on the contents of the building.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve a one-year contract renewal with Lockton Companies, Inc., for blanket building and property insurance coverage, at an anticipated expenditure of $243,500.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Excess Workers’ Compensation Coverage.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend approval to purchase excess workers’ compensation insurance coverage from Lockton Companies, Inc. per the City of Kansas City contract EV1943, for an annual premium cost of $187,247.00. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to approve the purchase of excess workers’ compensation insurance coverage at a cost of $187,247.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Converge One Installation of Dell EMC PowerStore.  A memorandum dated April 8, 2021, was presented to recommend approval to replace the VNX system with the Dell EMC PowerStore.  The VNX and its related software, services and components are close to end of life.  KCPD operates the current VNX system without warranty or service contract which exposes Niche RMS and CAD to service interruptions.  The new PowerStore system consolidates four applications into one system to manage data within the virtual server network of KCPD.  The quote and scope of work from Converge One covers all hardware, components, installation, and a warranty/service contract at an anticipated cost of $655,427.00.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the replacement of the current VNX system with the Dell EMC PowerStore by Converge One, at an anticipated cost of $655,427.00.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Adoption of Fiscal Year 2021-22 Budget.  A memorandum dated April 14 2021, was presented to recommend the adoption of the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget.  The total budget for appropriations from all sources is $256,773,275.00, compared to $266,377,193.00 for Fiscal Year 2020-21.  The Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget recognizes appropriations of $240,332,782.00 from the City and $16,440,403.00 from other sources.

            Deputy Chief True expressed her appreciation for the Department’s Budget Unit for their hard work during this time.  Commissioner Garrett echoed Deputy Chief True’s comments about the Budget Unit personnel.  Commissioner Garrett expressed concern with the $9.6 million budget decrease, and spoke about the effects it will cause.

Deputy Chief True asked for everyone’s support, including Mayor Lucas, to secure a supplemental appropriation from the COVID-19 Relief Bill that the City received.  She explained that securing the $9.6 million deficit through a supplemental appropriation would allow KCPD to hire candidates for an Academy class, and will boost the morale for the Department members that have worked tirelessly this past year. 

Deputy Chief True advised that she attended a previous meeting of the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee.  While the Fire Department Sales Tax was discussed, Deputy Chief True requested that the Police Department be included in the tax.  The majority of Council members did not support her request. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to adopt the Fiscal Year 2021-22 budget.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

            Deputy Chief True provided an update on the Communications Unit.  She advised that current staffing of the Unit is 103, leaving three vacant positions.  At this time last year, there were 17 vacancies.  She also advised that mandatory overtime has been reduced to $16,000, or 459 hours, from this same time last year.  Deputy Chief True expressed thanks to Commissioner Dean for pushing towards a 10-hour work plan in the Unit.  She explained that the morale has improved, and Communications Unit members are very pleased with this change. 

            Commissioner Dean advised that she has met with Communications Unit staff to discuss the change.  One concern the members had is that due to the hiring freeze, staffing in the Unit will decrease again.  Deputy Chief True advised that the Department is still hiring personnel for the Communications Unit, and other critical positions such as detention facility officers, despite the hiring freeze.   Commissioner Dean requested that that message is communicated to the members of the Unit. 

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for April 2021.  He advised that the 171st EOC, consisting of 20 outside agency recruits, will graduate on July 8, 2021.  There are zero KCPD recruits in the Academy currently due to the hiring freeze.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull explained that Academy staff is preparing for a class to begin in June 2021, if the Department should receive a supplemental appropriation from the City to restore the budget.      

            Commissioner Dean asked if the Academy is self-sufficient, in that the cost we charge for outside agency recruits pays the expense to run the Academy.  Acting Deputy Chief advised that it is not self-sufficient.  However, the Department does host outside law enforcement training, and is able to secure free training spots for KCPD personnel.  Commissioner Dean expressed great concern with the risk of the Academy closing due to budget cuts.

            Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that the Academy is currently operating with reduced staffing due to recent retirements and promotions.  There are currently five instructors and one supervisor in the Basic Training Section.  Commissioner Tolbert requested a full report on the costs for outside agency recruits, to determine what it would take to make the Academy self-sufficient.    

            Acting Deputy Chief Dull provided an update on the Youth Services Unit and the Police Athletic League (PAL).  He explained that the officers assigned to the Youth Services Unit are instructing the DARE and GREAT Programs at schools in-person and virtually.  There are two DARE officers, and they teach approximately 300 students per week. 

In March 2021, 1,251 youth attended activities at the PAL Center.  Attendance increased by 500 since February 2021.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that PAL, in partner with Big Brothers Big Sisters, will host its 6th Annual Clothing Giveaway on Saturday, May 1, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the PAL Center, 1801 White Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64126.   

Acting Deputy Chief Dull presented the following items for the consent agenda:

  1. Project #1332: Response to Primarily Civil Incidents
  2. Project #1272: Records Management Retention & Disposal

A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to

approve Project #1332 as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

In response to a question regarding Project #1272, General Counsel Jenny

Atterbury advised that the Department’s Custodian of Records is the Commander assigned to the Records Unit.  Ms. Atterbury also explained that the retention dates listed in this policy follow the retention laws laid out in the Secretary of State’s retention schedule.  Commissioner Tolbert inquired about the retention laws for physical evidence.  Ms. Atterbury explained that many things, such as statute of limitations and court appeals, factor in to those retention schedules.  Also, destroying evidence pursuant to the retention schedule is first reviewed by the investigative element and the prosecutor on the case. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve Project #1272 as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Investigations Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Joseph Mabin presented the Investigations Bureau report for March 2021.  He highlighted notable events by the Property Crimes Division and the Perpetrator Information Center (PIC).  Property Crimes detectives located a stolen KCFD ambulance.  With the assistance of Raytown Police Department, members were able to deploy stop sticks and take the suspect into custody without event.  The suspect was charged with Tampering 1st Degree, Class D Felony, and given a bond of $7,500. 

            Members of the PIC provided support and/or person of interest information on four homicides, eight assaults, one robbery, one sex crime, one fraud, and one stolen auto this month.  In addition, they also provided three person team support on 12 homicides.  They conducted 20 cell phone extractions, completed and disseminated 49 PIC bulletins, created nine intelligence packets on subjects for the Narcotics and Vice Division, and completed four trail graphics for the Jackson County and Cass County Prosecutor offices.  

Acting Deputy Chief Mabin advised that to-date in 2021, there have been 49 homicides, compared to 46 at this time last year.  There were 35 non-fatal shootings in March 2021, compared to 36 in March 2020.  There have been an additional 42 non-fatal shootings in April 2021.    Acting Deputy Chief Mabin advised there were 34 drive by shootings in March 2021, compared to 39 in March 2020.  There have been 100 total drive by shootings this year.  Of the 34 drive by shootings in March 2021, 64 victims were identified; seven of the victims sustained injuries.  There were 205 firearms recovered Department-wide in March 2021, compared to 237 in March 2020.  The Department has recovered 518 total firearms this year, compared to 640 at this time last year.

Acting Deputy Chief Mabin explained that narcotic sales, purchases, and arrests are down this month due to manpower and members of this Unit assisting detectives with other violent crimes cases.  However, drug seizures are up for the year.  Year-to-date, cocaine seizures are up by 218 percent, methamphetamine seizures are up by 38 percent, marijuana seizures are up by 137 percent, fentanyl seizures are up by 100 percent, and heroin seizures are up by 710 percent.  

Acting Deputy Chief Mabin advised that 394 cases were submitted for prosecution in March 2021, and 117 were charged in custody or issued warrants for arrest.  He presented case submission statistics for the Board.  He advised that the Investigations Bureau is currently working to condense the report to make it more reader-friendly.  Commissioner Garrett expressed great thanks to the members of the Investigations Bureau for their work on this report. 

  1. Administration Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Michael Hicks presented the April 2021 Crime Lab Report.  He advised that Crime Lab backlog is currently at 3,255 cases.  The Lab has completed 4,520 cases.  There are currently 1,366 new requests.  Acting Deputy Chief Hicks explained that half of the pending cases (700) are for examination of firearms.    

The Lab is currently down 10 members; there is one candidate in the hiring process.  This position will be funded through a grant.  Acting Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the Lab will begin its annual accreditation audit in May 2021.  

In response to a question, Acting Deputy Chief Hicks explained that the total backlog of DNA cases (462) include requests from outside agencies; however, the majority of the backlog are KCPD cases.  In response to another question, Acting Deputy Chief Hicks advised that Lab personnel do work some overtime, but not a significant amount.    

Acting Deputy Chief Hicks presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated April 5, 2021.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,808.  Budgeted strength is 2,026.  There are currently 1,259 sworn law enforcement personnel, leaving 110 vacancies.  There are currently 544 career civilians, leaving 64 vacancies.  There are 44 vacant police officer candidate positions due to the hiring freeze.  The Department has a total of 218 career vacancies.  Acting Deputy Chief Hicks noted that the Department has lost 12 reserve officers this year as well. 

Acting Deputy Chief Hicks advised that there are currently 65 applicants in the

hiring process; eight additional candidates are on standby and ready to go if an Academy class is approved.  Of the 65 applicants, there are 34 White males, 13 White females, seven Black males, two Black females, six Hispanic males, one Asian male, and one that identifies as other/unknown.  There are three lateral officers that are currently in the hiring process.  Acting Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the amount of applicants is low.

            Acting Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the Department has lost 64 members since January 1, 2021, due to retirements and resignations, compared to 42 for this same time period in 2020.  He also advised that in March 2021, there were no members terminated or demoted, four that received suspensions of 14 days or less, six written reprimands, and two pending further action.  Year-to-date 2021, there have been 24 written reprimands; ten of those are pending further action, five suspensions of 14 days or less, and no terminations or demotions.

            Commissioner Garrett advised that discipline of 14 days or less is not appealable at the Board level.  However, the Board still looks closely at these events to identify any patterns of behavior.  Since personnel matters are confidential in nature, the Board will seek further information on these disciplinary events in a closed setting. 

  1. Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman congratulated Major Mike Wood, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Michael Hicks on their upcoming promotions to Deputy Chief.  Deputy Chief Oakman spoke about recent community events throughout the patrol divisions.  He spoke about the continued professionalism, positive attitudes, and high level of community engagement by patrol officers, despite the environment that currently surrounds policing.

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for February 2021.  He noted that the pattern of robberies, burglaries, and sex crimes are decreasing, and have been over the past two years.  He advised that property and vehicle thefts are on the rise.  The City has seen a large amount of catalytic converter thefts, and is working on ways to prevent this.  Deputy Chief Oakman mentioned partnership with area scrapping companies.  Deputy Chief Oakman advised that response times remain steady, but they will likely start increasing as the Department loses additional staff.  The Shoal Creek Patrol Division is currently experiencing the most vacancies.  He explained that North Patrol and South Patrol will likely follow, then working its way into the inner city stations. 

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of March 2021.  He noted that traffic citations are up from last month, but are down year-to year.  A majority of decrease is due to the loss of parking control staff.  Total citations in March 2021 totaled 10,038 compared to 15,120 in March 2020.  The average number of citations per stop in the month of March by Traffic Enforcement Officers was 1.46.  He noted that the Department is seeing an increase in drivers and passengers not wearing their seatbelt.  The Department continues to issue tickets to those not wearing seatbelts. 

There were 58 driving-while-intoxicated arrests made in March 2021.  Deputy Chief Oakman explained that there was a leadership change in the DUI Section, and it has resulted in the major increase of productivity and morale.  The DUI Section is reaching historic statistics in DUI arrests and citations.   

Deputy Chief Oakman advised that there have been 13 fatality vehicular accidents to-date in 2021, compared to 15 at this same time last year.  Of the 13 fatalities, 62 percent were males and 70 percent were not wearing a seatbelt.

  1. Office of the General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for March 2021.  In the month of March, there were 39 private officer license suspensions, three license denials, and one license revocation.

            Ms. Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeals:

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Eagle Eye Security.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend upholding the March 8, 2021 fine and probation of Eagle Eye Security.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(5)(A), which stipulates in part, that “Private security and proprietary private investigator licenses are required for each of the following: Any individual providing private security services or proprietary private investigative services within the city whether for a licensed private security company or otherwise.”  Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations 10-2.060(8)(G) states, “The chief of police or his/her designee may impose a fine, order probation, order suspension, or revoke a license of any company granted under Section 84.720 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri pursuant to the procedures set forth in section (10) of this rule, when there exists information that licensee or, if the licensee is an organization, any of its officers, directors, partners, or associates has, failed to meet the standards as set our herein.”  Mr. Kenneth Class of Eagle Eye Security was working private security with an expired license on February 25, 2021.
  2. Private Officer License Appeal, Ross Dress For Less.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend upholding the March 8, 2021 fine and probation of Ross Dress for Less (Ross).   The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(5)(A), which stipulates in part, that “Private security and proprietary private investigator licenses are required for each of the following: Any individual providing private security services or proprietary private investigative services within the city whether for a licensed private security company or otherwise.”  Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations 10-2.060(8)(G) states, “The chief of police or his/her designee may impose a fine, order probation, order suspension, or revoke a license of any company granted under Section 84.720 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri pursuant to the procedures set forth in section (10) of this rule, when there exists information that licensee or, if the licensee is an organization, any of its officers, directors, partners, or associates has, failed to meet the standards as set our herein.”  During a field inspection of Ross on February 18, 2021, Ms. Lana Muritok identified herself as a loss prevention officer.  Ms. Muritok was not licensed to perform any private security services.

            Private Officer Licensing Unit Manager Tamy Gallagher could not attend today’s meeting.  Board members had several questions for Ms. Gallagher regarding fines and probationary periods.  The Board decided to table the vote, so that they can seek answers from Ms. Gallagher.  These appeals will be presented again for a decision at the meeting on May 11, 2021. 

  1. Office of Community Complaints.  Director Merrell Bennekin presented the Office of Community Complaints (OCC) Monthly Report for March 2021 and the 1st Quarter Complaints Received report.  To-date 2021, OCC has received 40 complaints, compared to 52 at this time last year.  The breakdown of the complaints filed categories is as follows: 23 improper procedure, six excessive use of force, five harassment, four improper member conduct, and two discourtesy.  Of these 40 complaints, 23 were forwarded to the Internal Affairs Unit (IAU) for investigation and 17 were handled as non-investigative complaints by the OCC. 

Dispositions were returned from IAU on 22 of the 23 investigative complaints.  There were seven closed complaints, six not-sustained, four sustained, four exonerated, and one non-cooperation.  Dispositions of non-investigative complaints by OCC this quarter were 16 closed, three resolved without investigation, and three closed with non-cooperation. 

Director Bennekin advised that many local businesses and groups, along with the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE), have reached out to OCC to support its history and purpose.  Director Bennekin also advised that he will be instructing a class to Department supervisors regarding de-escalation.  Commissioner Dean requested that history of the OCC be included on the website.  She also requested to include information on NACOLE and how it plays into the local OCC.

In honor of Administrative Professionals Day on April 21, 2021, Director Bennekin recognized the OCC support staff, Office Manager Ora Rogers, and Senior Legal Analysts Michael Walker, Johnie Crawford, and Karen Williams, for their hard work and dedication.  He advised that his staff puts in a lot of behind the scenes work, and they are greatly appreciated.  Director Bennekin also expressed thanks to all administrative personnel on the Department.  Without their hard work and knowledge, the Department could not operate as effectively. 

Senior Legal Analyst presented the OCC Annual Report for 2020.  Ms. Williams advised that the OCC faced new challenges in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic.  For the first time, the OCC received complaints by phone, by email, and with its newly launched website. 

The OCC received 236 total complaints in 2020.  Of those complaints, 174 were forwarded to IAU for investigation, and 89 were non-investigative and handled by OCC.  In 2020, improper procedure made up 55 percent of the complaints, improper member conduct made up 17 percent, excessive use of force made up 11 percent, discourtesy made up ten percent, harassment made up five percent, and bias-based policing made up two percent.  IAU reviewed 180 cases in 2020, and 66 of those complaints were closed, 55 were exonerated, 51 were not-sustained, and eight were sustained.  Those eight sustained complaints were made up of four improper procedures, three improper member conduct, and one excessive use of force. 

Ms. Williams explained that the race of members who are the subject of sustained, not-sustained, and exonerated complaints were broken down as follows: 77.4 percent White members, 17.3 percent Black members, 2.0 percent Hispanic members, and 3.2 percent were unknown/other.  Ms. Williams advised that 59 percent of complainants are Black, 33 percent are White, three percent are Hispanic, and five percent are unknown/other.  The majority of complainants are ages 35 to 49.  Ms. Williams explained that this statistic has remained consistent over time.  She advised that the OCC will continue with community outreach to educate different age groups about the OCC. 

Ms. Williams explained that a majority of the complaints filed are against members with tenure of four years or less.  She also noted that 87.5 percent of the complaints are against members in the Patrol Division.  This includes Division Stations, Traffic Enforcement, and Parking Control. 

Ms. Williams explained that overall 2020 calls for service were down, but self-initiated activities increased.  The Department had 239,811 calls for service in 2020, compared to 247,532 in 2019.  Department members conducted 95,708 self-initiated activities in 2020, compared to 42,619 in 2019.  The OCC received 236 total complaints in 2020, compared to 274 in 2019. 

Commissioner Garrett thanked Director Bennekin and OCC personnel for the Annual Report.  He advised that these are important statistics, and he intends to take a very close look at all of them.  

  1. Mr. David Kenner. Mr. Kenner advised that it was time to hold Board elections.  Commissioner Dean nominated Commissioner Tolbert to serve as the next Board President.  Mayor Lucas seconded Commissioner Dean’s nomination.  Commissioner Wagner nominated Commissioner Dean to serve as the Board’s Vice President.  Commissioner Tolbert seconded Commissioner Wagner’s nomination.  Commissioner Wagner nominated Commissioner Garrett to serve as the Board’s Treasurer.  Commissioner Dean seconded Commissioner Wagner’s nomination.    The vote was 5-0 in favor of all of the nominations with Commissioner Tolbert to serve as President, Commissioner Dean to serve as Vice President, and Commissioner Garrett to serve as Treasurer.

            Mr. Kenner congratulated Major Mike Wood, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Michael Hicks on their upcoming promotions to Deputy Chief. 

  1. Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas congratulated Commissioner Tolbert on his election as Board President.  He also congratulated Major Mike Wood, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Michael Hicks on their upcoming promotions to Deputy Chief.  He spoke favorably of these promotions, and knows these members are ready for this new challenge. 

Mayor Lucas stated that too many people in Kansas City are being killed and victimized by violent crime.  He urged the need for safer neighborhoods.  Mayor Lucas spoke about to his Emergency Order that will be effective on May 1, 2021, and the future of mask requirements.  He asked that the Board consider opening the meetings back up to the public, with no capacity restrictions and mandatory mask requirements.   

  1. Commissioner Nathan Garrett. Commissioner Garrett expressed the need for informed, civilized, and constructive conversations regarding policing and violent crime in the City.  He advised that police play a role in the criminal justice system, but there are a lot more pieces involved.  He spoke about the growing homicide rate in Kansas City.  He explained that 49 people have been murdered in Kansas City this year, and not one by police.

Commissioner Garrett congratulated Major Mike Wood, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Michael Hicks on their upcoming promotions to Deputy Chief.  He also congratulated Commissioner Tolbert on his election as Board President.  He expressed thanks to Commissioner Wagner for serving as Board President for the past year.  He explained that Board President’s put in a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and he thanked Commissioner Wagner for that.  Commissioner Garrett looks forward to working with Commissioner Tolbert, and stated that he is a very intelligent and respectful man.    

  1. Commissioner Cathy Dean. Commissioner Dean congratulated Major Mike Wood, Major Joseph Mabin, and Major Michael Hicks on their upcoming promotions to Deputy Chief.  She thanked Commissioner Wagner for his service as Board President, and welcomed Commissioner Tolbert.  She looks forward to working as Vice President with Commissioner Tolbert over the next year. 

            Commissioner Dean expressed her thanks to the Communications Unit personnel for their dedication.  She spoke about the stressful environment that work in every day and how much they are needed and valued in this job.

  1. Commissioner Mark Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert thanked Commissioner Wagner for his leadership as Board President this past year.  He stated that he is looking forward to working with Chief Smith this next year.  He stated Board members are selected on purpose, for a purpose.   
  2. Commissioner Don Wagner. Commissioner Wagner congratulated Commissioner Tolbert on his election as Board President, and believes he will do a great job.  He congratulated all upcoming promotions across the Department.  He noted the incredible attitude of Department members, and credited it to the Chief Smith’s positive leadership. 
  3. Scheduled meetings. The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:

Board Hearings:

 

BOPC 21-02: In Re: The Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings of:

Police Officer Johnie E. Wyatt, Jr. #5488

Friday, May 21, 2021, 9:00 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

BOPC 21-03: In Re: The Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings of:

Sergeant Gregory Satter #4927

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CONTINUED FROM ITS CURRENT SETTING OF APRIL 30, 2021, AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.

 

Audit Committee Meeting:

 

June 25, 2021, 10:00 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

Regular Meetings:

 

May 11, 2021, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

June 15, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

July 27, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

August 31, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

September 28, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

October 26, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

November 16, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

December 14, 2021, 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 Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn the open meeting at 12:45 p.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution.  Following a roll call, the vote was 5-0 in favor.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on October 16, 2020, 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 27, 2021, at KCPD Headquarters, 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 Don Wagner                                       -           Aye     

            Commissioner Mark Tolbert                                       -           Aye

            Commissioner Cathy Dean                                         -           Aye

            Commissioner Nathan Garrett                                   -           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 27, 2021:

The Board went into closed session at 12:54 p.m.

1)         Following a motion by Mayor Lucas, and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to authorize certain settlement authority in the claim of Humberto Gonzalez in an amount not to exceed $___.1  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

2)         Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to approve the applications for continued employment of Detective Barry Berglund, Police Officer Alexander Cruz, and Police Officer John Trainor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

            Commissioner Dean left the meeting at 1:53 p.m.

3)         Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on March 23, 2021.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

            Mayor Lucas left the meeting at 2:37 p.m.

4)         Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn.  The vote was 3-0 in favor.  Following polling, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

The Board adjourned at 2:51 p.m.