MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING TUESDAY, JANUARY 14, 2020
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, January 14, 2020, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
PRESENT: 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. Elizabeth Faron, Secretary for the Chief of Police, led the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain Shane Stamm provided the invocation.
Awards and Commendations. The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Retired Manager Ed Brundage. Manager Brundage started with the Department in April of 2001, serving 18 years of service to KCPD before his retirement in December 2019. Brundage worked in the Communications Support Division where he not only served KCPD with his vast knowledge of radio technology, but also served the entire Kansas City area.
Retired Manager Brundage earned several notable department awards for his radio technology expertise. In 2015, he was given a Division Letter of Commendation for his work with the Site Security for the 2015 MLB World Series. He also earned a Special Unit Citation from former Chief Richard Easley for his work on implementing the ETS Program, which involved installing equipment in patrol vehicles, helicopters, department radio towers and other remote sites. Brundage was also given a Division Letter of Commendation for his work with the Security Plan for the US World War I Centennial Commission Ceremony. The plan involved multiple agencies with over 200 personnel. Brundage led the way in making sure all personnel, including the National Guard, were able to communicate with two-way radios during the event.
Over the years he worked at KCPD and served as co-chair and advisor with the Mid-America Regional Council, many commanders and directors from around the city commended him on his invaluable knowledge and leadership in his field. The overwhelming sentiment from all who have worked with Brundage is that with his retirement, the years of experience and knowledge regarding all aspects of radio systems and communications, will be greatly missed throughout the entire Kansas City metro.
Councilwoman Heather Hall. Councilwoman Heather Hall spoke about proposed City Ordinance 190581, which authorizes the Director of the General Services Department to execute a Lease by and between Alliance Against Assault and Abuse, a Missouri nonprofit corporation, as the Landlord, and the City, as the Tenant, for those certain premises and parking in and upon the building commonly known as 4400 East Blue Parkway and implement those undertakings; authorizing such Director to negotiate and execute a Consent to Assignment and Termination of the existing Lease between the City and HRB Deployment & Support, LLC, for other space within same building; and recognizing an accelerated effective date. Councilwoman Hall advised that she is seeking additional information on the proposed ordinance before she votes for approval. She hopes that other Council members will also wish to hold off on voting until they receive additional data regarding the facility and funding.
Councilwoman Hall advised that the City has held several meetings with SFS Architecture regarding the jail needs assessment. SFS Architecture has added a few consulting groups to assist in the assessment. They are working to identify immediate and long term needs. There will be a business session to discuss the assessment on Thursday, January 16, 2020. Councilwoman Hall added that Municipal Courts and Jackson County are participating in the jail needs assessment.
Councilwoman Hall advised that construction has begun on the Law Enforcement Memorial Garden at the Shoal Creek Patrol Division Station.
Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith welcomed the Department’s social workers to the meeting. Tori Cawman, Central Patrol social worker, introduced the following social workers: Trena Miller, East Patrol; Brooke Piontek, North Patrol; Tamara McIntosh, South Patrol; Marla DePriest, Metro Patrol; and Lindsay Moran, Shoal Creek Patrol. Major Stacey Graves acts as the coordinator of the social worker program.
Ms. Cawman gave a brief presentation on the social worker program. She explained that the program began in December 2016, and expanded to every patrol division in 2017. The program helps reaffirm community trust in law enforcement, working as an enhanced form of community policing. When officers in the field identify members and families in need of social service resources, referrals are sent to the Department’s social workers. They average 15 referrals a week from patrol officers, across the six patrol divisions.
Family problems, poverty, addiction and more are the very issues that create crime problems in the community. Social workers are addressing these systemic, core issues to prevent crime and reduce calls for service.
Mayor Lucas joined the meeting at 9:49 a.m.
Several people in the audience expressed the need for social worker assistance following critical incidents, such as officer-involved shootings. They believe social workers can be of extreme benefit to the families and friends affected by officer-involved shootings. Major Graves advised that the social worker program is still new, and they are continuously looking for ways to enhance the program. She also advised that the Department will take these ideas into consideration, and use the audience’s input to lead future discussions regarding the practices of the program.
Chief Smith advised that Kansas City was selected as part of Operation Relentless Pursuit. Operation Relentless Pursuit is an initiative led by the U.S. Attorney’s General, and is aimed at combating violent crime in seven of America’s most violent cities through a surge of federal resources. The operation will involve numerous federal law enforcement partners, such as the FBI, ATF and DEA, collaborating with state and local law enforcement agencies. The Kansas City area will receive an approximate award of $7 million, and will be split between KCPD and KCKPD.
Chief Smith advised that the Department is implementing extra staffing across the City for the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 19, 2020. Discussions are also occurring regarding a potential Super Bowl victory parade. Chief Smith advised that the Department would need regional mutual aid support for victory activities if the Kansas City Chiefs clinch a Super Bowl win.
Chief Smith advised that the Department is looking to hire a psychologist on staff, with the assistance of Dr. Sarah Getch, PhD, of the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. Funding for a psychologist has not yet been identified. Chief Smith believes having a psychologist in the Department will be a great tool for its members.
Public Comments. Mr. Howard Brummett shared a quote from President Ronald Reagan regarding the moral ways of government. He reminded the Department and government to not become corrupt.
Sheryl Ferguson voiced her frustrations with the Department following the officer-involved shooting death of Cameron Lamb. She advised that she and the community have no trust in the KCPD. Ms. Ferguson spoke about Mr. Lamb’s character. Ms. Ferguson was the recipient of a Certificate of Appreciation award from the Board in 2016 for her role in community policing events in the East Patrol Division. Ms. Ferguson advised that she was naïve in receiving this award, and wished to return the award because of injustice from the Department regarding the death of Mr. Lamb.
Sheryl Vickers expressed her concerns about the officer-involved shooting death of Cameron Lamb. Ms. Vickers spoke about the need for change in community and police relationships.
Merlon Ragland, aunt of Cameron Lamb, expressed her concerns about the incident. She requested that officers patrol in the areas in which they live, so that they can relate to the community they are serving. She also expressed concerns regarding the next of kin notification process in officer involved shootings.
Commissioner Garrett thanked the speakers for their comments.
Approval of minutes. Mr. Kenner suggested a modification to page 2, line 22, of the proposed open meeting minutes from December 10, 2019. The modification would indicate that nearly 1,000 community visitors visit the Crime Lab, per year. A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to modify the minutes as suggested and approve the minutes of the open meeting on December 10, 2019. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99.Sergeant Brad Lemon spoke about the nationwide mental health crisis. He advised that he traveled to the White House last week to discuss mental health treatment and combating homelessness, violence and substance abuse. He also advised that he is in a work group initiated by the Department of Justice that is discussing how to address social problems that are impacting public safety across America.
Sergeant Lemon spoke about the extreme need for enhanced community policing and additional officers on the streets.
Executive Services Bureau.Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval: a. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2019-20. A memorandum dated January 3, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Police Grants Fund and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
b. Replacement Tasers for X26 Model. A memorandum dated December 17, 2019, was presented to recommend the approval of a five year agreement for the purchase of 133 Tasers with Axon Enterprise, Inc., at a total anticipated expenditure of $180,615.00. This proposal allows for the replacement of Taser devices nearing end of life. The Taser devices are allocated to Patrol, Tactical, and Traffic officers. The Department has 490 total Taser devices.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the five year agreement for the purchase of 133 Tasers with Axon Enterprise, Inc., at a total anticipated expenditure of $180,615.00. 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 87 members, leaving 19 vacant positions. There are 21 applicants scheduled for interviews. In response to a question, Deputy Chief True advised that Communications Unit personnel are still required to participate in mandatory overtime.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Major Greg Dull spoke for Deputy Chief Robert Kuehl in his absence. Major Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for January 2020. The 167th Entrant Officer Class, which included 29 KCPD recruits, graduated on Thursday, January 9, 2020. The 168th Entrant Officer Class will graduate on May 7, 2020. Major Dull explained that there is a 21 percent drop-out rate in the Academy, but the 168th Entrant Officer Class is faring better. He advised that Training staff continues to work with Human Resources personnel to select the right candidates that are prepared for careers in law enforcement.
Major Dull spoke about and shared pictures from the PAL Holiday Party and holiday meal delivery events.
Investigations Bureau. Major Greg Volker spoke for Deputy Chief Mark Francisco in his absence. Major Volker presented the Investigations Bureau report for December 2019. He advised that to-date in 2020, there have been 7 homicides, compared to five at this time last year. There were 148 total homicides in 2019. There were 371 cases submitted to the prosecutor in December 2019, and charges were filed on 172 cases.
There were 34 non-fatal shootings in December 2019, compared to 31 in December 2018. There were 491 total non-fatal shootings in 2019, compared to 450 total in 2018. To-date in 2020, there have been ten living shooting victims identified, compared to 21 at this time last year.
Major Volker advised there were 30 drive by shootings in December 2019. Of the 30 drive by shootings, 66 victims were identified; ten of the victims sustained injuries. Drive by shootings for 2019 totaled 413, compared to 422 in 2018. There were 189 firearms recovered Department-wide in December 2019. There were 2,443 firearms recovered Department-wide in 2019, compared to 2,205 in 2018.
Major Volker advised that on December 29, 2019, the Department added eight detectives to the Homicide Unit. There are now 32 homicide detectives amongst four squads. In early January, the Department doubled the number of Assault Squad detectives from 12 to 24.
Major Volker spoke about the newly implemented weekly shooting reviews. The shooting review meetings include partners from the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals, FBI, DEA, and ATF. The review looks at both fatal and non-fatal shootings. Each shooting is given an impact score that is made up of the victim’s criminal history and risk terrain modeling. Risk terrain modeling utilizes maps and characteristics of an area to see what might attract criminal behavior, such as liquor stores and bus stops. Major Volker noted that victim cooperation continues to be a problem. Detectives are following up with victims of previous crimes to increase cooperation.
Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division 2019 End of Year Report. He advised that all trends are positive, and productivity continues to increase. The DNA Section continues to strive for their goal of having real time DNA testing. While this is a lofty goal, there is a possibility for extra personnel and new equipment through the Operation Relentless Pursuit initiative. Deputy Chief Wadle explained that it takes four to six hours to run DNA testing. DNA can be determined through bodily fluids and/or hair follicles. DNA is the most accurate form of identification.
Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated December 31, 2019. For this time period, Department strength is 1,296 sworn law enforcement and 552 career civilians. Deputy Chief Wadle advised there are 69 sworn law enforcement position vacancies, but there are currently 67 police officer candidates attending the Academy.
Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman spoke about various community events that occurred over the last month throughout the Patrol Divisions. Deputy Chief Oakman gave an update on the Helicopter Unit. The Helicopter Unit is made up of two sergeants and six officers; one additional officer is currently in flight training. The Helicopter Unit flies from 0900 hours to 1700 hours daily, unless they are called on for service.
In 2017, the Helicopter Unit flew for 1689 hours. In 2018, the Unit flew for 1631 hours. Due to limited staffing, the Unit has flown for a total of 939 hours to-date 2019. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that limited staffing is due to retirements in the Unit and the long-term training process for pilots.
The Helicopter Unit has mutual aid agreements with 46 agencies. In 2017, the Unit assisted mutual aid partners for 48.5 hours per recorded flight records. The Unit flew for 35.6 hours assisting mutual aid partners in 2018, and for 15 hours to-date 2019. Typically, one of the three helicopters is grounded for maintenance at any one time.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for November 2019. He reminded the Board that monthly crime statistics are a month behind because the State has to verify statistics before they are made public. He advised that response times have remained steady as the calls for service continue to increase.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of December 2019. There were 10,621 citations issued Department-wide in December 2019. There were 159,516 total citations issued in 2019. The average number of citations issued per traffic stop in the month of December, by members of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, was 1.51. Members in the Traffic Division put high focus on speed and seatbelt enforcement. The Parking Control Section issued 62,314 citations in 2019, compared to 34,196 in 2018.
Interstate 435 at Holmes Road continues to be the City’s highest crash location; however, traffic enforcement in the area has increased. Total City-wide totaled 21,728 in 2019, compared to 23,015 in 2018. There were 78 fatality motor vehicle accidents in 2019, compared to 85 in 2018. In December 2019, 76 percent of fatality crashes were males, and in 60 percent of the fatality crashes, there was no seatbelt device worn.
Deputy Chief Oakman advised that six officers and a sergeant were added to the North Patrol Impact Squad, as well as six officers and a sergeant added to the Central Patrol Impact Squad, as a result of a COPS Grant award. All patrol divisions now have impact squads. The COPS award also allowed for one officer to be added to the North Patrol Division as a crime free multi-housing officer.
Office of General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for December 2019. In the month of December, there were 33 private officer license suspensions, three license denials, and one license revocation.
Ms. Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeal: a. Private Officer License Appeal: U.S. Public Safety. A memorandum dated January 7, 2020, was presented to recommend the revocation of private security company license of U.S. Public Safety and its three licensed employees. The revocation was based on the actions of Mr. Jesse White, owner of U.S. Public Safety, on October 29, 2019. Mr. White, while dressed in a U.S. Security uniform and armed with a firearm, pulled a vehicle over, detained and handcuffed a citizen on the city streets of Kansas City, Missouri. Mr. White was not licensed, nor did Mr. White have any authority on the city streets of Kansas City, Missouri, as outlined in Title 17 10-2.030 (1), which states, “if a private security officer is licensed, the authority is limited to the property the licensee is hired to protect said property and is not to extend to the public streets.”
The Private Officer Licensing Unit recommends upholding the November 26, 2019 company revocation of U.S. Public Safety and its three licensed employees. They noted that the three employees may transfer their licenses to a different company if the revocation of U.S. Public Safety is upheld.
After discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to deny the appeal and uphold the revocation of the private security company license of U.S. Public Safety and its three licensed employees. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Secretary/Attorney David Kenner. Mr. Kenner advised that the Board needed to elect a Vice President. A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to elect Commissioner Cathy Dean as Vice President of the Board. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Commissioner Dean abstained.
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 JANUARY 24, 2020, AND WILL BE RESET FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.
February 18, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
March 10, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
April 14, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
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.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:47 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, January 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 January 14, 2020:
The Board went into closed session at 12:11 p.m. Mayor Lucas left the meeting at 12:19 p.m.
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to approve the applications for continued employment of Police Officer David Edwards, Reserve Detective Laurie Borkowski, Detective Patrick McKenzie, Sergeant Richard Sharp, Reserve Sergeant Sabe “Bud” Choate, Master Patrol Officer Ann Malnar, and Reserve Police Officer Mitchell Branch. 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.
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 December 10, 2019. 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.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to go into special closed session. 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.
4) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to come out of special closed session and adjourn. 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.