December 8, 2020 Meeting

Publish Date 12/31/2020

                                                                                     

MINUTES OF THE

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2020

  

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, December 8, 2020, in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

 

PRESENT:

Commissioner Don Wagner, President

Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Vice President

Commissioner Cathy Dean, Treasurer

Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member

Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney

Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police

ABSENT:

Commissioner Nathan Garrett, Member

 

This meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Commissioner Wagner.  Commissioner Garrett had an excused absence.  Commissioner Wagner led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Bishop Tolbert provided the invocation. 

  1. Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee. Councilwoman Kathryn Shields attended the meeting via video conference.  She introduced the City’s Director of Finance, Tammy Queen, who also joined via video conference.  Ms. Queen presented information regarding potential City and KCPD merged operations for cost-saving opportunities.   To-date, the City’s Finance Department and KCPD’s Finance Department have met twice to review budgets for potential areas of consolidation and identified top priorities.  Potential areas of consolidation are as follows:  medical/life insurance, communications, dispatch services, information technology, facilities management/building operations, and DataKC/Research and Development.  Top priorities identified are as follows: dispatch services, public safety radios, procurement/purchasing/supply, fleet maintenance/operations, and inventory/asset management systems.

            Ms. Queen spoke about exploring the combination of KCPD and KCFD dispatch services to improve efficiencies related to call routing, improve response times, and decrease hold times.  She also spoke about the potential to work with Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) on a regional approach to emergency services dispatch.

In regard to Fleet Operations, Ms. Queen advised that KCPD should explore use of City’s National Automotive Parts Association (NAPA) contract for parts.  In the future, KCPD’s Fleet personnel could handle automobile repairs and maintenance, while the City’s personnel handles heavy equipment. 

Ms. Queen spoke about the City’s need for a risk management system.  She advised that the City and KCPD could potentially share risk mitigation ideas, a claims software management system, explore a third party administrator for all workers’ compensation claims, share policies for limited/modified duty and transitional duty, and work together on subrogation efforts. 

Pending the results of the City Auditor’s review of City assets and buildings, potential savings could come from sale or buildings and/or relocation of staff.  Additional savings can be achieved through improved coordination on use of budgeted facilities maintenance money.  Ms. Queen suggested KCPD explores use of City Uniguard security contract for its Headquarters Building. 

Councilwoman Shields advised that she remains optimistic about the potential cost savings, and the City and KCPD need to work together towards a strong and safe KC.   

  1. Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith advised that this would be Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle’s last Board meeting, as he is retiring at the end of the year.  He thanked Deputy Chief Wadle for his dedication to the Department for the last 31+ years. 

Chief Smith provided a COVID-19 update.  He advised that 1,396 Department members have been tested for the Coronavirus; 195 Department members have tested positive for the virus.  Of the positive cases, 169 members have recovered and returned to work; 26 members are currently positive and recovering at home.  There are approximately 40 members quarantined at home (includes 26 positive members).  Chief Smith expressed that the Department is extremely fortunate that no members have experienced serious illness or long-term effects from the virus.  

Pastor Darron Edwards joined the meeting via video conference.  He 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 played a short video for everyone in attendance.  He discussed the need to make Kansas City safe in every zip code.  He also stated, “When you take the neighbor out of the neighborhood, all that’s left is the hood.”  He spoke the need for more community engagement in 2021.  Beginning with the New Year, Getting to the Heart of the Matter will start meeting with neighborhood associations, and shift focus to how the residents view the community they live in. 

  1. Public Comments. The Board received 28 public comments via email as of 7:15 a.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.  Each email was forwarded to the Board members for their review prior to today’s meeting.  Public comment emails received will be posted on the KCPD website (www.kcpd.org) following today’s meeting.
  2. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on November 10, 2020.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.
  3. Executive Services Bureau. Major Paul Luster spoke for Deputy Chief Karen True in her absence.  Major Luster presented the following items for Board approval:
  4. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. A memorandum dated November

20, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers.  This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Clay County COVID-19 Fund, Police Grants Fund, and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the budget transfers as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor. 

  1. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A

memorandum dated November 19, 2020, was presented to recommend an adjustment of appropriations totaling $1,500,000 from the Unappropriated Fund Balance of the Liability Self-Retention Fund to the Contractual Services – Settlements account within the Liability Self-Retention Fund.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve adjustments to appropriations in the amount of $1,500,000 for settlements, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Adjustment to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A

memorandum dated December 2, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of a $900,000 adjustment from the Private Donations Fund to the Audio/Visual Equipment Fund.  The funds are to be used to acquire body cameras needed by the Department. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve adjustments to appropriations in the amount of $900,000 for body cameras, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Donation Acceptance. A memorandum dated December 2, 2020, was

presented to recommend acceptance of a $900,000 donation from the Police Foundation of Kansas City.  This funding will cover Phase 2 of the Body-Worn Camera Project.  It is expected that that Phase 2 will provide body-worn camera technology to all members of the Patrol Bureau designated in the original scope of the project, including all district personnel, Traffic Unit, and Tactical Response Teams.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to accept a donation in the amount of $900,000 from the Police Foundation of Kansas City, to be used for Phase 2 of the Body-Worn Camera Project.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. FY20 DNA Capacity and Backlog Reduction Award 2020-DN-BX-0089. A

memorandum dated November 23, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of FY20 DNA Capacity and Backlog Reduction Award 2020-DN-BX-0089, in the amount of $492,930.  This award provides funding for the salary and benefits of five forensic specialists and the purchase of equipment.  The overarching objective is to reduce the DNA backlog through increasing capacity and reducing turnaround time by five percent.  The award period is October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2022, and is 100 percent federally funded.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to accept FY20 DNA Capacity and Backlog Reduction Award 2020-DN-BX-0089, in the amount of $492,930.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. BJA FY20 Solicited – Operation LeGend Award 2020-DJ-BX-0002-01. A

memorandum dated November 23, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of BJA FY20 Solicited – Operation LeGend Award 2020-DJ-BX-0002-01, in the amount of $998,478.  The award provides funding for the purchase of body-worn cameras and laptop computers for Investigations Bureau personnel.  The award period is April 1, 2020, through September 30, 2023, and is 100 percent federally funded.

In response to a question from Commissioner Tolbert, Major Luster advised that various task force officers are stationed within the Investigations Bureau, and cameras are needed when they are out locating and arresting suspects.  He also advised that IT is prepared for the level of storage needed to house these video recordings.  Deputy Chief Wadle will provide a more in-depth discussion regarding retention on non-evidentiary video during his presentation.    

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to accept BJA FY20 Solicited – Operation LeGend Award 2020-DJ-BX-0002-01, in the amount of $998,478.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

            Major Luster provided an update on the Communications Unit.  He advised that current staffing of the Unit is 103, leaving only three vacant positions.  Applications are still being processed.  Major Luster advised that the 10-hour shift plan for call takers and dispatchers has been formalized, and has been sent to Deputy Chief True for final review.  The Communications Unit anticipates the 10-hour shift implementation on January 24, 2021.  Major Luster also noted that due to the increase in personnel over the past month, call time-in-queue and mandatory overtime have both decreased. 

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for December 2020.  There is currently only one recruit class at the Academy.  The class is made up of nine regional recruits and one KCPD recruit; the KCPD recruit was recycled from a prior class due to an injury.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that there was a COVID-19 outbreak at the Academy, and training for the recruits shifted to online and remote learning.  Those that were positive have recovered, and the recruit class has resumed in-person training.

            Acting Deputy Chief Dull provided an update on the Police Athletic League (PAL).  PAL recently received a $131,000 grant from the Children’s Services Fund from Jackson County.  The funds will be used to enhance mental health services program at PAL.  PAL also received a $50,000 COVID-19 Relief grant from the Hall Family Foundation.  During the week of Thanksgiving, PAL Board members and officers delivered holiday meals to families that otherwise wouldn’t have a Thanksgiving dinner.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull displayed photos of the new gym floor that Acme installed at the PAL Center.  In November 2020, 542 youth attended activities at the PAL Center. 

            Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that the D.A.R.E. Program is currently being taught at two middle schools in the North Kansas City School District.  The D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. Programs are currently being taught to three schools remotely within the Kansas City School District.

Acting Chief Dull advised that the Response to Resistance policy and Code of Ethics policy are scheduled to go before the Executive Committee next week.  If approved by the Executive Committee, these policies will be forwarded for Board approval at the meeting on January 12, 2021.  The First Amendment policy will be presented to the Executive Committee during their meeting in January.  The Whistleblower policy is being handled by Office of Community Complaints Director Merrell Bennekin.

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

  1. Project 1221: Inventory and Control of Department Fixed Assets
  2. Project 1298: Uniform Maintenance Allowance
  3. Project 1299: Shift Differential Pay

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 1221, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.  

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve Project 1298, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve Project 1299, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the Investigations Bureau report for November 2020.  To-date in 2020, there have been 170 homicides, compared to 141 at this time last year; this is a 21 percent increase in homicides year-to-date.  In November 2020, 334 were submitted for prosecution; 71 cases were filed.    There were 46 non-fatal shootings in November 2020, compared to 31 in November 2019.  There have been an additional six living victims in December 2020.  Deputy Chief Francisco advised there have been 480 drive by shootings year-to-date 2020, compared to 393 at this time last year.  There were 50 drive by shootings in November 2020, compared to 25 in November 2019.  Of the 50 drive by shootings in November 2020, 144 victims were identified; 16 of the victims sustained injuries.  There were 203 firearms recovered Department-wide in November 2020, compared to 213 in November 2019; 2,302 firearms have been recovered year-to-date 2020, compared to 2,280 for the same time frame in 2019.
  2. Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division Report for December 2020.  He advised that Crime Lab backlog is trending very favorably.  The Lab has reduced its total backlog by 100+ cases.  The Lab currently has eight vacancies within the Trace and Latent Print Sections. In response to a question regarding Item 5 (E) - FY20 DNA Capacity and Backlog Reduction Award 2020-DN-BX-0089, Deputy Chief Wadle explained that this funding will cover salaries and benefits for members already employed within the Lab.  These positions are grant-funded within the DNA Section, and will not be impacted by Department budgetary reductions.   

Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated December 3, 2020.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,307 sworn law enforcement personnel.  Budgeted strength for law enforcement personnel is 1,369, leaving 62 vacant positions.  For this time period, Department strength for career civilians is 562; budgeted strength for career civilians is 608, leaving 46 vacancies.  Deputy Chief Wadle advised that there have been 24 law enforcement resignations year-to-date versus 23 at this time last year.  There have been 40 law enforcement retirements year-to-date; at the end of 2019, there were a total of 61 law enforcement retirements.  There have been 10 civilian retirements year-to-date; at the end of 2019, there were a total of 17 civilian retirements.  Deputy Chief Wadle advised that the Department expects to lose approximately 15 additional law enforcement officers and five civilians in December 2020, due to retirements.  

            Deputy Chief Wadle provided a brief summary regarding non-evidentiary video retention schedules for the Panasonic Arbitrator System.  The Department studied many comparable police departments across the nation, and discovered that non-evidentiary videos are being held anywhere from 30 days up to two years.  Deputy Chief Wadle advised that approximately only ten percent of recorded patrol video is held as evidence.  Missouri State Law requires all video be held for 30 days.  There may be new parameters coming within the next year. 

The Department is currently looking to hold all non-evidentiary video for 120 days and up to a year.  If the retention schedule is set at 120 days, no new storage will be needed.  If the Department increases the retention schedule to one year, additional storage may be needed by the end of 2022.  If the Department was to increase the retention to two years, $250,000 of storage would need to be purchased now, and potentially additional storage purchased in 2021. 

Mayor Lucas congratulated Deputy Chief Wadle on his upcoming retirement.    

  1. Patrol Bureau. Major Steven Young spoke for Deputy Chief Karl Oakman during his absence.  Major Young spoke about recent community events throughout the patrol divisions.  Major Young presented the Monthly Crime Summary for October 2020.  He noted that there were half as many homicides in October 2020 than in September 2020.  Response times for the month remain better than in previous years. 

Major Young presented the Traffic Summary for the month of November 2020.  Total citations in November 2020 totaled 10,158 compared to 13,328 in November 2019.  There have been 124,809 citations issued year-to-date 2020.  The average number of citations per stop in the month of November by Traffic Enforcement Officers was 1.48.

There have been 95 fatality accidents to-date 2020, compared to 69 at this time last year.  Major Young advised that alcohol and drugs have contributed to 55 percent of the fatalities this year.  In 78 percent of this year’s fatality vehicles, seatbelts were not worn.

  1. Office of Community Complaints. Director Merrell Bennekin joined the meeting via video conference.  He advised that OCC is working with Tekki LLC to finalize the new website.  Director Bennekin advised that the hope is for the website to go live by the end of the year. 

Director Bennekin advised that the OCC will continue discussions with the Board and Research and Development Division regarding policy changes and video retention in the New Year.  Director Bennekin congratulated Deputy Chief Wadle, Sergeant Robert Gibbs, Master Patrol Officer Greg Smith, and Sergeant Jeff Jennings on their upcoming retirements.  Director Bennekin wished everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.    

  1. Audit Committee. Commissioner Dean advised that an audit was conducted on the Private Alarm Section.  The Audit Committee and Quality Control Unit recommended changes to frequently used form names to eliminate confusion.  These changes were made.  Also, they recommended training for patrol officers regarding false alarms.  They suggested that when officers are dispatched on an alarm call, they identify on-air if it was a false alarm before leaving the scene.  Suggestions were also made to create a website that allows alarm holders to apply, renew, and/or pay their alarm fees online.

            An audit was conducted on the Private Officers Licensing Unit (POLU).  Suggestions were made to create a website that allows private security officers to apply, register, and/or make payments for their private security licenses.  Forms used by the POLU should also be edited to ease the process.  They also suggested mandatory training for applicants and private security officer license holders. 

  1. Mr. David Kenner. Mr. Kenner wished everyone ‘Happy Holidays.’
  2. Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas congratulated all Department members retiring at the end of the year.  He advised that the new City Manager, Brian Platt, started yesterday.  Mayor Lucas thanked Chief Smith for reaching out to Mr. Platt, and continuing the positive relationship between the Department and City Manager’s Office.

Mayor Lucas advised that City Council will vote on legislative priorities on December 10, 2020.  These priorities involve control of the Department, funding, and mental health triage centers and other resources.

Mayor Lucas advised that he is in favor of reopening the Board meetings to the public, and allowing real-time public comment.  Mayor Lucas requested a litigation management review and financial discussion regarding settlements in the near future.

Mayor Lucas wished everyone ‘Happy Holidays.’   

  1. Commissioner Cathy Dean. Commissioner Dean expressed her appreciation to be a part of the Board and the Department.  She stated that despite the difficult year the Department and City has faced, KCPD members have continued to show compassion and integrity while doing what they think is best for the City. 
  2. Commissioner Mark Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert thanked Mayor Lucas for his continued leadership and decision making to keep Kansas Citians safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Commissioner Tolbert congratulated Deputy Chief Wadle on his retirement.  Commissioner Tolbert thanked Chief Smith for his continued leadership during a combative year, and looks forward to continued discussions and efforts regarding policy changes.  He also thanked Commissioner Wagner for his leadership on the Board.  He wished everyone a safe and Merry Christmas.  
  3. Commissioner Don Wagner. Commissioner Wagner advised that he is proud to be a part of the Board of Police Commissioners and KCPD, and looks forward to what’s to come in 2021.
  4. Scheduled meetings. The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:

 

Regular Meetings:

 

January 12, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

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

 

March 23, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

April 6, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

May 4, 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.

 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:20 a.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution.  Following a roll call, the vote was 4-0 in favor.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on February 19, 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, December 8, 2020, 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

            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 December 8, 2020:

The Board went into closed session at 11:38 a.m.  Commissioner Garrett had an excused absence.

1)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the application for continued employment of Reserve Police Officer George McCall. The vote was 4-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Dean voted Aye.

2)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on November 10, 2020.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Dean voted Aye.

3)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, 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 Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Dean voted Aye.

The Board adjourned at 12:59 p.m.

 

____________________

_______________________                                                                   President

       Secretary/Attorney