MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2018
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, July 10, 2018, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
PRESENT: Commissioner Nathan Garrett, President Commissioner Leland M. Shurin, Vice-President Commissioner Don Wagner, Treasurer Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Member Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., Member Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police
This meeting was called to order at 9:31 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett. The Communications Support Unit led the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain Bilal Muhammed provided the invocation.
50thAnniversary of the Computer Operations Unit.Captain Christopher Sicoli presented a video detailing the history of the Department’s Computer Operations Unit. The Computer Unit was established on July 10, 1968, by Chief Clarence Kelley, with the assistance of Mr. Melvin Bockelman. Mr. Bockelman was tasked with creating an in-car computer system for the patrol vehicles, for officers to look up background information on subjects they come in contact with. Chief Kelley wanted the patrol officers to receive the information in less than ten seconds. The system that Mr. Bockelman created is called Alert, and is still used by Department members today. KCPD was the first Department to have an in-car computer system of this kind.
Board Resolution 18-06 was presented to the Information Technology Systems Unit and Information Technology Support Unit, formerly the Computer Operations Unit and the Systems Programing Unit, to recognize their actions and service to the Department and the City over the last 50 years.
The Chief’s Baton was presented to Mr. Melvin Bockelman for his dedication and hard work that created a first-of-its-kind in-car computer system, providing patrol officers with background information in less than ten seconds.
Social Services Coordinator Gina English spoke about a recent interaction that Central Patrol Officers had with a homeless family, and the services that Department social workers were able to provide for the family.
On the morning of June 28, 2018, Sergeant Andrew Henry answered a call for service, regarding a family sleeping in a parking garage stairwell. Sergeant Henry called multiple shelters, but all were full. He then called KCPD Social Services for assistance. Sergeant Henry relayed that Ms. Chantre Russ, a single mother with three children under the age of four years, arrived in Kansas City on June 26, 2018 from California. She has no family in Kansas City, and came on a Greyhound Bus after receiving a letter from the Housing Authority of Kansas City for public housing. Sergeant Henry advised that he did not want to split up the family.
Ms. English arrived at Central Patrol Division to meet with the family. Upon arrival, she advised the officers that the only shelter with an opening was in Topeka, Kansas. Ms. English offered an alternative option to “pass the hat around” and pay for a hotel for the night. Sergeant Henry and Officers Devin Jackson, Jacob Phillips and Ian Morris unanimously decided to pass the hat and together came up with the money to pay for a hotel.
Since the officers’ initial encounter, Ms. Russ has received community support and outreach from various individuals and organizations. The family has been provided with an extended hotel stay, clothing, toys, food, money and other miscellaneous items. As of July 3, 2018, Ms. Russ has been approved for public housing. The Russ family was present in the audience.
Annual Audit Presentation.Mr. Michael Keenan, Cochran Head Vick & Co., presented the annual audit for the year ending April 30, 2018. The audit reflects that the Department complied in all material respects with the finance-related laws and regulations that govern their operations. No illegal acts were discovered, no difficulties or disagreements with management occurred, and full access to books and records was given.
Councilperson Alissia Canady.Councilperson Alissia Canady spoke about the recent shooting in Westport. She advised that there are still a few signatures needed from property owners, in order to privatize the sidewalks in the Westport Entertainment District. She also spoke about three socio-economic issues that are common characteristics of the majority of inmates in the Jackson County Jail: homeless, mental health, and substance abuse. Steps to resolve these social issues need to be taken in order for violence to decrease in the City. Councilperson Canady advised that the Jail Task Force continues to look at ways to improve the jail.
Councilperson Canady thanked the Department for the increase of community outreach initiatives around the community, such as the Youth Academy and the KCPD social worker program.
In response to a question about privatizing the sidewalks in Westport, Councilperson Canady advised that the Westport Business Association brought a proposal to the City Council, with ways to effectively screen for guns in the Westport Entertainment District. Since it is a festival-style entertainment district, the Association proposed to close the streets during nighttime hours. As stated before, the City still needs a few signatures on the Ordinance from property owners before privatization of sidewalks is in effect.
Chief Richard C. Smith.Chief Richard Smith congratulated Sergeant Brad Lemon on receiving the Outstanding Leadership Award at the State FOP Conference for the second year in a row. Chief Smith provided an update on body cameras. He advised that the Department released an RFP for body cameras. Chief Smith advised that the body cameras must be compatible with the in-car video system. Chief Smith and the City Manager are working together to establish a plan for data storage and an added budget request for money to pay for body cameras. Chief Smith advised that the Department won’t know the expense of body cameras until the bids are received on August 21, 2018.
Mayor James expressed concern about the RFP not including language regarding sub-contracting to local businesses, and minority and women owned businesses. He believes since the money for body cameras will come from tax payer dollars, then sub-contracting to local, minority, and women owned businesses needs to be a considered factor in the RFP. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that there are a limited number of companies that provide services for body cameras, and most of them are out of the area. However, local company Sprint is involved in the Department’s body camera project. Mayor James encouraged the Department to include considering factors such as local, minority, and women owned businesses in the language of all Department RFPs going forward.
Public Comments.Curtis Taylor, uncle of Ryan Stokes, advised that he spoke to the Board on February 14, 2017, and at the time asked the Board to correct the statement that KCPD released following his nephew’s death. Mr. Taylor believes the narrative about Mr. Stokes was false. He stated that the five-year anniversary of Mr. Stokes’ death is approaching, and his family wants the Board to correct their statement. The family also requests that the Board rescind the commendation that was given to the officer that shot Mr. Stokes. Mr. Taylor advised that the Department showed no empathy when they received Ryan’s painful death notification by KCPD, and he requests that officers receive immediate training on how to deliver death notifications. He requested that the Board act immediately on these issues.
Dawn Dysart, Organizer of One Struggle KC, voiced her concern about the way KCPD handled the officer-involved shooting death of Ryan Stokes. Ms. Dysart demanded that the Department do the following in regard: 1) Correct the alleged false narrative that KCPD provided after Mr. Stokes’ death, 2) Revoke the commendation and badge of the officer that shot Mr. Stokes, 3) Take immediate steps to de-militarize officers who treat citizens like their enemies, and 4) Establish an independent review board to investigate Mr. Stokes’ death and all other officer-involved shootings.
Rabbi Doug Alpert and Kiku Brooks, Co-chairs of Criminal Justice Task Force of More2, are seeking racial justice, and more specifically justice for Ryan Stokes. Mr. Stokes belonged to their church. Members of More2 are in favor of an increase in officer training, body cameras and an independent review board to investigate officer-involved shooting incidents. Rabbi Alpert advised that he is not anti-police, but he believes progress needs to be made on the relationship between the police and the community, to create an environment where police are trusted by the communities they serve.
Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard Jr., President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, advised that the family and friends of Ryan Stokes are still grieving their loss as the five-year anniversary of Mr. Stokes’ death approaches. Rev. Dr. Howard Jr. requests that the Board acknowledge and correct an alleged false narrative provided by KCPD. He also requests the Board takes action on the following: 1) Restoration of Mr. Stokes name and integrity, 2) Revocation of Officers Thompson’s and Jones’ commendations, 3) Financial Provision for Mr. Stokes daughter’s future, 4) Make changes to the Department’s foot pursuit policy, and 5) Create a Victim Advocate Team to assist victims and their families.
Commissioner Garrett thanked everyone for their comments, and stated that the Board’s comments are limited due to the ongoing federal litigation. The Board mourns and regrets all officer-involved shootings.
Approval of minutes.A motion was made by Mayor James, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on June 12, 2018. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the audit committee meeting on June 22, 2018. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the minutes of the audit committee meeting on July 8, 2016. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99.The Board congratulated Sergeant Brad Lemon on being selected for the Outstanding Leadership Award at the State FOP Conference for the second year in a row. Sergeant Lemon congratulated Sergeant Steve Miller for being selected as the Executive Vice President of the State of Missouri’s FOP for the second year in a row. Sergeant Lemon was also appointed as the Chair of the State Mental Health Committee.
Sergeant Lemon thanked Chief Smith and the Department for taking their time and researching body cameras before “jumping in and drowning” like other departments around the country. Lodges 99 and 102 will host a guest speaker, a sheriff from New York, to speak about peer support at the end of July. Sergeant Lemon advised that the FOP and Kansas City Parks and Rec will host the Teddy Bear Picnic at Roanoke Park on July 13, 2018.
Sergeant Lemon advised that he was contacted by the National FOP, who wants to write a story about all of the initiatives and community outreach that Lodges 99 and 102 are doing. Sergeant Lemon believes that Lodges 99 and 102 are models for other FOP Lodges around the country. Sergeant Lemon and Deputy Chief Laningham were invited to attend a Civil Rights Trip in Alabama in August. Both plan to attend.
Executive Services Bureau.Deputy Chief Roger Lewis presented the following item for Board approval: a. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2018-19. A memorandum dated June 29, 2018, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, the Police Drug Enforcement Fund and the Police Grants Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Deputy Chief Lewis provided an update on the Communications Unit. He advised that year-to-date, the Communications Unit has received 471,000 calls; 272,000 of those calls were received through the 911 system. The 911 hold time for the month of June averaged 27 seconds, compared to 31 seconds at this time last year.
Deputy Chief Lewis advised that the Communications Unit is currently staffed with 94 members, leaving 12 vacant positions. The Department has 54 applicants in the Communications Unit hiring process; four employment offers have been made. Seven call takers and four dispatchers are currently in a training class. A new class will begin on July 30, 2018.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Deputy Chief Bob Kuehl presented the Academy Class Summary for July 2018. He advised that the 164thEntrant Officer Class consists of 43 KCPD recruits and 11 outside agency recruits.
Deputy Chief Kuehl and Major Diane Mozzicato spoke about the Women’s Personal Safety Seminar that is held on the first Saturday of each month, from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. It is held at the Regional Training Academy each month; however, every third session is held at the KCPD South Patrol Division Station. Major Mozzicato advised that an average class has 50 participants. One hour of the class focuses on preventative measures, while the other three hours are spent learning hands-on techniques. Over the years, 17,000 people have participated in this program.
Deputy Chief Kuehl also advised that the PAL Panther Softball Team will be traveling to Washington D.C. in July, to participate in the Jennie Finch All-Star Classic.
Investigations Bureau.Deputy Chief David Bosworth presented the Investigations Bureau report for June 2018. Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that to-date in 2018, there have been 61 homicides, compared to 77 at this time last year. There have been 223 drive-by shootings to-date in 2018, compared to 245 at this time last year; there were 38 drive-by shootings in June 2018, compared to 53 in June 2017. He advised that aggravated assaults have decreased by 13 percent, and the number of victims has decreased by 11 percent. There have been 1,073 firearms recovered Department-wide.
Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that methamphetamine is the highest-risk drug in the six state area of South Dakota, North Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska. Heroin, opioids and controlled prescription drugs rank second in the high-risk category and marijuana ranks third. There have been 14 fatal overdoses to-date this year. Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that there is typically a combination of drugs discovered in one’s system after an overdose.
Deputy Chief Bosworth advised sinceBackpage.comwas shut down, there has been a 29 percent increase in street prostitution. He also advised that the HIDTA Threat Assessment predicts that there will be a cocaine comeback. The production of cocaine south of the U.S. Border has increased. Deputy Chief Bosworth advised that he will start including a breakdown of opioids recovered in the Investigations Bureau monthly report.
Administration Bureau.Deputy Chief Karl Oakman presented the Regional Criminalistics Division monthly statistics for July 2018. He also presented the Personnel Summary dated July 3, 2018. For this time period, Department strength is 1,298 sworn law enforcement and 543 career civilians. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that the Property and Evidence Unit now reports to the Crime Lab.
Deputy Chief Oakman provided an update on the Human Resources Division. He advised that the health fairs for employees are scheduled to begin on July 11. 2018. Approximately 1,200 out of the 1,900 Department employees participate in the health fairs. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that Manual Tech is closed for the summer; however four Manual Tech students are in the Department’s hiring process for various non-sworn positions.
Captain Darrel Bergquist and Sergeant Joe Bediako provided an update on the Employment Unit. The Department has received 1,662 online applications since it went live in January 2018. The Department will hold open testing session for law enforcement applicants on July 14-15, 2018. There are over 350 people already scheduled to test at this session, which is three times as many as last year. Captain Bergquist advised that the Department continues to improve the quality and timeliness of the hiring process. More background testers has helped this process. The Department has hired one new polygrapher, and will hire another. The Department anticipates hiring approximately 100 officers this year.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented a short video on the KCPD Youth Academy.
Patrol Bureau.Deputy Chief Sharon Laningham provided an update on the Tactical Response Teams. She advised that the TAC Teams are responsible for providing active shooter training to various schools and churches throughout the Metropolitan area. They have provided 71 active shooter response presentations to-date this year, compared to just four at this time in 2015. Any community group can request to receive the active shooter response training. The TAC Teams have presented 30 static displays this year, compared to 41 at this time in 2015.
The TAC Teams also respond to every protest in the City. They have attended 26 protests to-date in 2018, compared to eight at this time in 2015. There have been 29 Operation 100’s to-date in 2018, compared to 20 at this time in 2015.
Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Monthly Crime and Offense Summary dated May 2018. Violent crimes are down 15 percent and property crimes are down four percent. She advised that response times have slightly increased; however, at the end of July, the probationary police officers will be off of break-in and riding as one-person crews. This will result in more officers available for calls for service, and should reduce response times.
Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Traffic Summary for the month of June 2018. She advised that traffic citations have increased by 20 percent Department-wide, which has resulted in a decrease of motor vehicle accidents. Deputy Chief Laningham advised that parking control citations totaled 3,799 for the month of June and approximately 15,000 parking control citations year-to-date.
Deputy Chief Laningham spoke about the Fourth of July DUI Wolfpack Enforcement efforts. During the 24-hour enforcement, 47 stops were made, 12 DUI arrests were made, and there were 65 violations. There were 49 hazardous moving violations and 16 non-hazardous moving violations.
To-date in 2018, there have been 37 fatalities, compared to 43 at this time last year. Deputy Chief Laningham presented the June 2018 Executive Summary.
Private Officer Licensing Unit.Major Louis Perez presented the following Private Officer License Appeal: a. Private Officer License Appeal, Mr. Gerald H. Altman.A memorandum dated June 21, 2018, recommended the denial of the unarmed private security license of Mr. Gerald H. Altman. The basis for the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050 (3)(H), which stipulates, each applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards, “Be of good moral character by having no felony convictions, misdemeanor convictions or city ordinance convictions which have as an essential element fraud, dishonesty, an act of violence, bribery, illegal drug use, sexual misconduct and other similar acts constituting moral turpitude.” Also outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050 (3)(O), which stipulates, “Provided other facts or actions which demonstrate that the applicant is unsuitable or ineligible for a license.” On June 6, 1996, Mr. Altman was convicted of Felony Theft in Johnson County, Kansas.
After discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Shurin, to deny the appeal and revoke the unarmed private security license of Mr. Gerald H. Altman. The vote was 3-2 in favor.
The Board discussed revising the Code of State Regulations, so as to not exclude individuals with felony or misdemeanor convictions from applying for a private security license. Once the Regulations are updated, the Board encourages the Private Officer Licensing Unit to reach out to those applicants that were disqualified due to their convictions.
Office of General Counsel.General Counsel Jennifer Atterbury stated she had nothing for discussion at this time.
Office of Community Complaints.Director Merrell Bennekin advised that the Office of Community Complaints has received 125 complaints to-date this year, compared to 102 at this time last year; 23 percent of complainants are non-cooperative. A majority of the complaints received are in the Central Patrol Division. Director Bennekin believes that this is due to higher traffic in the downtown area.
Director Bennekin congratulated Former OCC Executive Director Pearl Fain and Former Board Members Alvin Brooks and Emanuel Cleaver II on their selection as three of the first 100 Honorees on the Leon M. Jordan Monument to Freedom, Justice & Courage, for their contributions towards the advancement and protection of the civil rights of members of the Jackson County community. Director Bennekin thanked Sergeant Jennifer Jones for her dedication to the Internal Affairs Unit over the last several years, and wished her well in her new assignment as the Operations Sergeant in the Patrol Bureau. He welcomed Sergeant David Loar as he transfers to the Internal Affairs Unit. Director Bennekin regrettably advised of the recent passing of Attorney Michael Bates and Attorney Sid Willens.
Chief Smith thanked Director Bennekin for his highly-visible activity and positive outreach in the community. Chief Smith advised the Board that the Department is updating its webpage.
Commissioner Shurin.Commissioner Leland Shurin thanked the Friends of the Kansas City Mounted Patrol for their donation of a Ryobi cordless leaf blower and various fencing supplies, to include electric wire, insulators, fasteners and a gate valve to be used by the Mounted Patrol Section. He thanked Gracemor-Randolph Community Council for their $20,000 donation to be used toward the purchase of the GENETEC Camera System.
The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:
August 14, 2018, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
September 17, 2018, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
October 9, 2018, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
November 13, 2018, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
December 17, 2018, 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 Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 12:27 p.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 September 14, 2017, 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, July 10, 2018, 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:
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James – Aye Commissioner Nathan Garrett – Aye Commissioner Leland Shurin – Aye Commissioner Mark Tolbert – Aye Commissioner Don Wagner – 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 July 10, 2018:
The Board went into closed session at 12:45 p.m. Mayor James left the meeting at 1:50 p.m.
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the applications for continued employment of Reserve Sergeant Edward Mulloy and Reserve Patrol Officer Richard Cartwright. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Shurin voted Aye.
2) Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on June 12, 2018. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Shurin voted Aye.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to go into special closed session at 2:00 p.m., to discuss personnel matters. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Shurin voted Aye.
4) Following a motion by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to raise Chief Richard Smith’s annual salary to $175,000. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Shurin voted Aye.
5) Following a motion by Commissioner Wagner, with 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 Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Shurin voted Aye.