MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING TUESDAY, JANUARY 8, 2019
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
Commissioner Nathan Garrett, President Commissioner Leland M. Shurin, Vice-President Commissioner Don Wagner, Treasurer Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., Member Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police
Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Member
This meeting was called to order at 9:31 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett. Sergeant Deb Randol led the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain William Gorman provided the invocation. Mayor James joined the meeting at 9:36 a.m. Commissioner Tolbert had an excused absence.
Press Conference. Chief Richard Smith provided a statement to the local media regarding the conclusion of the Crimes Against Children Unit internal investigation (statement attached).
City Architect’s Report. City Architect Eric Bosch spoke about the multi-year maintenance plan for Department facilities. The project will help address the needs of each facility (roof, mechanical, etc.), and create a budget plan for repairs based on the needs. However, the City still needs to identify funding for professional architects and contractors to do testing on the buildings. He City will start with the Central station, then Metro, South Patrol, the Academy, Shoal Creek, Headquarters, East Patrol and North Patrol.
Mr. Ron Fletcher, Police Foundation. Mr. Ron Fletcher, President of the Police Foundation of Kansas City, explained that the Foundation’s mission is to raise and provide funds that are not available within the Department’s budget. These funds are used toward equipment and strategic initiatives the Department will undertake in effort to reduce violent crime in the City. Mr. Fletcher thanked Commissioner Wagner for his time serving on the Police Foundation Board prior to serving on the Board of Police Commissioners.
In 2018, the Police Foundation helped secure the funding for the placement of social workers at each Patrol Division. They also secured a grant for the portable gunshot detection system, funded 15 StarChase pursuit devices, purchased two hybrid robotic total stations for the Accident Investigation Section, purchased four additional TruNarc handheld devices for narcotic testing, purchased multiple cameras, license plate readers and drones, and funded the Youth Police Initiative Program. In addition, the Foundation purchased a ballistic helmet for every officer on the Department. Mr. Fletcher thanked the Foundation’s partners, such as the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the Hall Family Foundation and H&R Block, for their contributions and partnership.
Mr. Fletcher spoke about the “A Call for Backup Event.” The event is an annual benefit that highlights the work of the Department and raises funds for future initiatives. Many Departments Units and members attend and provide a static display of their job functions and equipment. New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill will be the guest speaker at the 2019 A Call for Backup Event. The event will be held on Friday, February 22, 2019 at the Muehlebach Hotel.
Councilperson Alissia Canady. Councilperson Canady spoke about the importance of having nontraditional partners, such as the Police Foundation, to bring resources and new perspectives to violent crime in the City. She believes that the numerous initiatives that are in place are helping to reduce crime, but would like for the City and the Department to identify more ways to prevent violent crime in the City and provide additional resources to those in need. She noted that the police are responding promptly to crimes, but what’s missing is the ability to handle the human element, although the Department is making some progress with its use of social workers. Councilperson Canady emphasized that substance abuse, mental health, homelessness and despair are the four major causes of violence. She suggested that the Board and command staff need to adopt a 5 year plan for the Department and staffing.
Public Comments. Mr. Newell Mitchell expressed concern with his involvement with the Department after his vehicle was towed from a shopping center parking lot on private property. He also complained about the lack of communication provided to him by the Department. Director Merrell Bennekin and Major Karen True met with Mr. Mitchell immediately following his comments to help address his concerns.
Approval of minutes.A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Mayor James, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on December 17, 2018. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Roger Lewis presented the following items for Board approval: a. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2018-19. A memorandum dated December 26, 2018, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Police Grants Fund, Special Services Special Revenue Fund and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.
A motion was made by Mayor James, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 4-0 in favor. b. Auditing Services. A memorandum dated December 24, 2018, was presented to recommend that Cochran Head Vick & Co., P.C., be awarded the contract for auditing services for the period beginning February 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020, with the option to renew for four additional one-year periods. Although their bid was slightly higher than some of the others, they offer more services with their proposal, which services the Department has found useful in the past.
A motion was made by Mayor James, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to award Cochran Head Vick & Co., P.C., the contract for auditing services for the period of February 1, 2019 through January 31, 2020, with the option to renew for four additional one-year periods. The vote was 4-0 in favor. c. Robot Purchase. A memorandum dated January 7, 2019, was presentedto recommend approval for the purchase of a replacement Andros FX Vehicle Assembly Robot and related equipment for the Bomb and Arson Section from Northrop Grumman, Remotec, Inc., at a total anticipated expenditure of $414,870. The supplemental appropriation from the City in the amount of $406,650, was approved at the Board meeting on November 13, 2018. The difference between the appropriation and the purchase price is $8,220, and will be paid from the Department’s General Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the purchase of a Andros FX Vehicle Assembly Robot and related equipment for the Bomb and Arson Section from Northrop Grumman, Remotec, Inc., at a total expenditure of $414, 870. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
Deputy Chief Lewis provided an update on the Communications Unit. He advised that in 2018, the Call Center has received nearly one million calls, and 560,000 of them were received through the 911 system. The 911 hold time for the month of December 2018 was 11 seconds, compared to 21 seconds in December 2017. Deputy Chief Lewis advised that the Communications Unit is currently staffed with 98 members, leaving eight vacant positions. There are 34 applicants in the hiring process. A new call taker class will begin at the end of January 2019.
Deputy Chief Lewis thanked the Police Foundation for their donation of $1,250, to assist with meals and gifts for 12 children and their families during Christmas.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Deputy Chief Bob Kuehl presented the Academy Class Summary for January 2019. He advised that the 164th Entrant Officer Class will graduate from the Academy on January 19, 2018. Deputy Chief Kuehl also advised that the Police Athletic League took 11 kids and chaperones to the Raiders v. Chiefs Game at Arrowhead Stadium on December 30, 2018.
Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief David Bosworth presented the Investigations Bureau report for December 2018. Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that to-date 2019, there have been four homicides, compared to two at this time last year. In 2018, there were 136 homicides total, compared to 151 in 2017. Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that in 2018, there were 450 living shooting victims identified, compared to 506 in 2017. There were 422 drive by shootings in 2018, compared to 475 in 2017; there were 30 drive by shootings in December 2018, compared to 41 in December 2017. The Department recovered 2,205 firearms in 2018, compared to 2,179 in 2017, and submitted 199 felon-in-possession cases.
Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that narcotic related arrests in 2018 totaled 845, compared to 693 in 2017; sale of narcotics cases in 2018 totaled 421, compared to 340 in 2017; marijuana recovered in 2018 totaled 3,734 pounds, compared to 1,792 pounds in 2017; prescription pills and opiates recovered in 2018 totaled 684, compared to 469 in 2017; heroin recovered in 2018 totaled 24 pounds, compared to 42 pounds in 2017; and search warrants served in 2018 totaled 481, compared to 395 in 2017. There were 38 fatal overdoses in 2018, compared to 25 in 2017, and there were 33 non-fatal overdoses in 2018.
Deputy Chief Bosworth spoke about Project Safe Neighborhoods, a nationwide initiative that brings together federal, state and local law enforcement, prosecutors, and community leaders, to identify and address the violent crime problems in the community with the prevention, intervention and enforcement method.
Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Regional Criminalistics Division monthly statistics for January 2018 and the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated January 3, 2019. For this time period, Department strength is 1,276 sworn law enforcement and 551 career civilians.
Deputy Chief Oakman provided a recruitment update. He advised that the Department received 2,930 applications in 2018, compared to 1,047 applications in 2017. The Department hired 109 law enforcement personnel in 2018, compared to 73 in 2017.
Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Sharon Laningham highlighted a few Department events during the month of December, such as Center Patrol Division Christmas Celebration with four local families in need, a field trip for twelve ROTC students to tour the Academy, East Patrol and Tactical Response Team I adoption of four families for the holiday season, North Patrol Salvation Army Project, and HyVee Harvesters Holiday Ham Giveaway at East Patrol. She also advised that there were 61 Operation 100 incidents in 2018, compared to 50 in 2017. An Operation 100 is an incident where tactical enforcement squads negotiate with armed, barricaded parties, to get them to come out safely.
Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Monthly Crime and Offense Summary dated November 2018. She advised that the average response times for Priority 10 calls was 7.53 minutes, with a goal of 7.50 minutes. Response times for Priority 20 calls was 9.57 minutes, with a goal of nine minutes.
Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Traffic Summary for the month of December 2018. There were 151,867 traffic citations issued in 2018, compared to 116,454 in 2017. In 2018, 47 percent of fatality motor accidents involved impaired drivers. There were 34,196 parking control enforcement citations issued in 2018. There were 85 fatality motor vehicle accidents in 2018, compared to 99 in 2017. The highest factor in fatality accidents are impaired male drivers not wearing their seatbelts. In response to a question, Deputy Chief Laningham said that the Patrol Bureau will try to determine the cause for the drop in fatalities, and whether there is less impaired driving due to such services as Uber and Lyft.
Office of Community Complaints. Director Merrell Bennekin stated that he contacted Mr. Mitchell after Mr. Mitchell’s public comment. The Office of Community Complaints is currently reviewing a complaint that was previously submitted by Mr. Mitchell. Director Bennekin advised that the annual Badges for Baseball will take place on February 9, 2019.
The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:
February 12, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
March 19, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
April 9, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
May 14, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
June 11, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
July 9, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
August 20, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
September 17, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
October 22, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
November 19, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
December 10, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
A motion was made by Mayor James, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:11 a.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution. Following a roll call, the vote was 4-0 in favor.
WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on February 21, 2018, 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 8, 2019, 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 Leland Shurin - Aye Commissioner Don Wagner - Aye Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James - 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 8, 2018:
The Board went into closed session at 11:26 a.m.
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin and a second by Mayor James, the Board voted to approve the application for continued employment of Reserve Sergeant Sabe “Bud” Choate. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Mayor James voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
2) Following a motion by Commissioner Wagner and a second by Mayor James, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on December 17, 2018. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Mayor James voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin and a second by Mayor James, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Mayor James voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.