June 15, 2021 Meeting

Publish Date 06/15/2021

MINUTES OF THE

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS

TUESDAY, JUNE 15, 2021

 

 

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, June 15, 2021, in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

 

PRESENT:

 Commissioner Mark Tolbert, President

Commissioner Cathy Dean, Vice President

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 9:30 a.m. by Commissioner Tolbert.  Administrative Assistant Elizabeth Faron led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Ms. Faron has served as a civilian on the Department for 44+ years, and assigned as the Secretary of the Chief of Police for the past 20 years.  Ms. Faron will be retiring in July.  Chaplain Dennis Dewey provided the invocation.  Chief Smith advised that Chaplain Dewey has served as a Department Chaplain since 1993, and will be retiring in July.  Chaplain Dewey has been there for Department members during the best and worst times.  Chief Smith thanked Chaplain Dewey for his service to the Department. Councilwomen Heather Hall and Katheryn Shields were unable to attend today’s meeting on behalf of the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee. 

  1. Chief Richard C. Smith. Chief Smith welcomed Major Brad Deichler and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99 (FOP) President Sergeant Brad Lemon to the meeting.  Major Deichler advised that with the help of Councilwoman Heather Hall, the FOP, and Variety KC – The Children’s Charity, the Department was able to secure sensory kits for officers in the field.  These kits include items such as weighted blankets, headphones to cut sound, sunglasses, and other sensory tools.  These kits are designed help officers respond to calls involving individuals in a mental crisis.  Major Deichler thanked Councilwoman Hall for her support and the FOP for their generous donation.  Sergeant Lemon added that KCPD is the first Department in Missouri to equip their officers with sensory kits. 

            Commissioner Dean asked how people can donate to KCPD for projects and initiatives such as this.  Sergeant Lemon advised that donations should be made through the Kansas City Police Foundation.  More information on the Police Foundation can be found at https://policefoundationkc.org/

            Chief Smith introduced Social Services Support Liaison Tori Cawman.  Ms. Cawman spoke in-depth about the Department’s social worker program.  Currently, the Department has a total of six social workers, and they are assigned to each Patrol Division station.  Ms. Cawman explained that the social workers are on-call 24 hours a day/7 days a week, and are always ready to assist officers in providing resources to those in need. 

            Ms. Cawman explained that the need for social workers has increased drastically since the program first started in 2016.  Ms. Cawman advised that since 2019, the social workers have received 452 housing referals, 285 essential item referrals, 505 youth support referrals, 326 violent crime referrals, and 330 general follow up referrals.  In addition, the social workers have attended over 400 events and projects.  The social worker team assisted in providing 30,000+ people food during the first two months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

            Mayor Lucas spoke about the importance of the social worker program, and thanked Ms. Cawman and the social workers for their service.  Commissioner Tolbert highlighted the great coordination between officers and social workers coming together to help the community, and thanked them for their service.

  1. Public Comments. Officer Timothy Griddine stated that Commissioner Tolbert and other Board members are shepherds, and they need to guide and protect the “flock”, or Department members, from the “wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing.”  Officer Griddine shared a reading from Tony Evans’ book titled Oneness Embraced.  Officer Griddine spoke about broken promises made by politicians and the City.  He urged the City to stop spending money and giving things away during a budget crisis. 

            Indigenous Xi, Commander of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party, made several demands regarding freedom, power to determine destiny of the Black community, full employment, housing, education, justice and peace.

            Sheryl Ferguson demanded the Board start listening to and respecting the community.  She advised that until the public receives respect from the Board, she will not respect the time limit for public comments.  She stated that the Department’s social worker program is not adequately staffed.  Ms. Ferguson read definitions for cognitive, empirical, and reasoning.  She stated that the Board needs to lead by these definitions.  Ms. Ferguson asked why the Department does not publish statistics regarding officer-involved shootings and other crimes. 

            Howard Johnson spoke about an incident with a man exposing himself in a park in front of children.  The man was arrested, but later returned to the park.  Mr. Johnson would like to know why the man was released and allowed to return to the park.  Commissioner Dean advised that this is not acceptable, and requested the Patrol Bureau follow up with Mr. Johnson to determine what happened.

            Gabby Weeks stated that the social services program is a joke.  She stated that the Department needs to stop using Black children as photo opportunities.  Ms. Weeks read a quote from KJ Brooks from a prior Board meeting.  Ms. Weeks spoke about a KCUR article that stated KCPD has lost allyship with area pastors.

  1. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the minutes of the open meetings on May 11, 2021, May 24, 2021, and May 28, 2021.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.          
  2. Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
  3. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2021-22. A memorandum dated June 4,

2021, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers.  This budget transfer will affect the Police Grants Fund, the Jackson County Drug Tax Fund, and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.

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

  1. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2021-22. A

memorandum dated June 4, 2021, was presented to recommend adjustments to appropriations in the Special Services Fund for purchases related to social service outreach.

            A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the adjustments to appropriations as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

            Deputy Chief True advised that the agenda items Board Resolutions and Signature Cards and Bank Pledge Agreement Form need to be held for approval until the Board appoints a Treasurer.

  1. MCSAP 2021 Award 21-CMV-MC-003. A memorandum dated June 3, 2021,

was presented to recommend approval of a contract with Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) for the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) award in the amount of $1,199,000.60.  This award is 85 percent federally funded, with a 15 percent local match.  The award period is July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.  This is the 25th year of funding.  Funding from this grant will be used for personnel, overtime, equipment, travel, and training for the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Section within the Traffic Division.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the MCSAP award contract in the amount of $1,199,000.60.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

            Deputy Chief True provided an update on the Communications Unit.  She advised that current staffing of the Unit is 96, leaving ten vacant positions.  The Communications Unit is still actively recruiting and hiring individuals for these vacancies.  Commissioner Tolbert recommended speaking with the Full Employment Council regarding these open positions.

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Deputy Chief Mike Wood presented the Academy Class Summary for June 2021.  The 171st EOC, consisting of 18 outside agency recruits, will graduate on July 8, 2021.  There are zero KCPD recruits in the Academy currently due to the hiring freeze. 

            Deputy Chief Wood advised that Police Athletic League (PAL) had to close for a period of time this month to due to COVID-19 concerns.  They were still able to hold a PAL graduation celebration outdoors in the parking lot of the PAL Center.  Despite being closed for a portion of the month, 427 youth participated in programs offered while the PAL Center was open.

            Deputy Chief Wood advised that D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. officers continue to teach classes in-person and virtually.  Recently, 19 classes completed the D.A.R.E. program, and five classes completed the G.R.E.A.T. program.  An additional 21 classes completed the D.A.R.E. dissertation lessons.  The Youth Programs Section taught approximately 400 students per week in the month of May 2021.

            Deputy Chief Wood presented a video on the Youth and Police Initiative (YPI).  YPI began in 2018.  To date, the Department has held nine cohorts, with approximately 15 youth in each group.  The goal for YPI this year is to hold two cohorts at each Division Station, totaling in 12 cohorts for the year. 

            Deputy Chief Wood presented the following items for the consent agenda:

  1. Project 1345:  Eyewitness Identification Procedures
  2. Project 1369:  Military Leave

            In regard to Project 1345, Commissioner Tolbert inquired why the Department does not allow persons to use a numerical scale when identifying persons of interest in a photo array.  This item was held to get legal advice and clarification for these procedures.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 1369, Military Leave, as presented.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Joseph Mabin announced the retirement of KCPD K-9 Bennett.  K-9 Bennett was retired due to his age and an injury to his leg.  K-9 Bennett was assigned to the Drug Enforcement Unit. 

After retirement, Department canines go home to live with their human partners and no longer belong to the Department.  Their assigned detective or partner is then responsible for all healthcare costs going forward.  The injury to K-9 Bennett’s leg was a torn ligament that needed surgical repair.  The cost of this surgery was $3,300.  Retired Paws “Supporting Retired Canine Heroes” generously donated $3,000 towards K-9 Bennett’s surgery.  K-9 Bennett is on the road to recovery.

Deputy Chief Mabin presented the Investigations Bureau report for May 2021.  He advised that to-date 2021, there have been 68 homicides, compared to 83 at this time last year.  There were 53 non-fatal shootings in May 2021, compared to 82 in May 2020.  There have been an additional 24 non-fatal shooting victims identified in June 2021.    Deputy Chief Mabin advised there were 47 drive by shootings in May 2021, compared to 54 in May 2020.  There have been 187 total drive by shootings this year.  Of the 47 drive by shootings in April 2021, 102 victims were identified, and 14 of the victims sustained injuries.  Deputy Chief Mabin advised that next month, drive by shootings will be reported in the bullet-to-skin report. 

Deputy Chief Mabin explained that narcotic purchases and arrests are down this year due to reduced staffing.  However, drug seizures are up for the year.  In May 2021, cocaine seizures were up by 57 percent, methamphetamine seizures were up by 131 percent, marijuana seizures were up by 108 percent, heroin seizures were up by 1,000+ percent, and fentanyl seizures were up by 2,000+ percent compared to the previous year.  Deputy Chief Mabin explained that a majority of these large seizures occur from parcel intercept and interdictions from individuals traveling through the City.

Deputy Chief Mabin advised there were 220 firearms recovered Department-wide in May 2021, compared to 250 in May 2020.  The Department has recovered 935 total firearms year-to-date 2021, compared to 1,075 at this time last year.

Deputy Chief Mabin presented the Executive Summary of Case Dispositions for May 2021.  He spoke about case submissions and outcomes for Clay, Jackson, and Platte Counties.  He advised that Jackson County has proven to be faster at charging violent crimes, while Platte and Clay Counties have proven to be faster with charging property and narcotic crimes.  In response to a question about narcotics-related arrests at bus stations, Deputy Chief Mabin advised that a majority become federal charges.  This is because of a Federal Task Force actively patrolling the bus stations.

Chief Smith noted that the City is below the national average for non-fatal shootings and homicides.  He advised that 2020 was a record year for these violent crimes.  Nationally, violent crime is still on the rise; however, Kansas City isn’t experiencing the same trend as others. 

  1. Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Michael Hicks presented the June 2021 Crime Lab Report.  He advised that the Crime Lab productivity has flatlined due to reduced staffing.  The Crime Lab staffing is currently down by 16.5 percent.  There are current vacancies for two sworn positions and 12 civilian positions.  

The Crime Lab was able to fill one position in the DNA Section through a grant.  The DNA Section is responsible for 74 percent of all Lab work, and is currently facing the most backlog.  The Crime Lab expects to receive a grant through COMBAT to fund another position.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the Department hopes to hire additional personnel in the coming months.  He noted that the Department is competing with the Johnson County Lab because they are currently hiring with greater pay.   

Deputy Chief Hicks presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated June 3, 2021.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,773.  Budgeted strength is 2,026.  There are currently 1,243 sworn law enforcement personnel, leaving 126 vacancies.  There are currently 525 career civilians, leaving 83 vacancies.  There are 44 vacant police officer candidate positions due to the hiring freeze.  The Department has a total of 253 career vacancies.  The Department anticipates losing an additional 16 members this month.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the Department hired two lateral officers, and continues to hire personnel for Parking Control, Communications, and Detention Services.  There are currently 68 candidates in a hiring pool if funding of an Academy class gets approved.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the number of monthly retirements have surpassed the average for the past three years.  The Department is currently averaging 17 retirements per month.    

Deputy Chief Hicks spoke about disciplinary actions over the past month.  He advised that in May 2021, there was one member terminated, three suspensions of 14 days or more, and two that received written reprimands.  Year-to-date 2021, there have been 49 disciplinary actions. 

In response to a question regarding the voluntary resignations of members in the Communications Unit, Deputy Chief True explained that the Department is continuously working to increase the job environment and satisfaction in the Unit.  Earlier this year, the Unit switched from 8-hour days to 10-hour days, resulting in less overtime.  A majority of the staff is enjoying this change.  The Department also recently added a relaxation room in the Unit.  Deputy Chief True advised that the stress and nature of the job leads to a majority of the resignations due to job dissatisfaction.  The Department is currently hiring for positions within the Communications Unit.  For more information on careers, visit https://careers.kcpd.org/

  1. Patrol Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Steve Young spoke about the monthly events that occurred throughout the six Patrol Divisions.  Acting Deputy Chief Young presented the Monthly Crime Summary for April 2021.  He noted that assaults during the month of April were up by 27 percent from the previous month.  He reminded Board members that these statistics require state verification, which is why April statistics are just now being presented.  He advised that response times for Priority 10 and Priority 20 calls remain under the goal.  Year-to-date 2021, the Department has received a total of 384,691 calls for service. 

Acting Deputy Chief Young presented the Traffic Summary for the month of May 2021.  The Department issued 10,007 citations in May 2021, compared to 12,681 in May 2020.  The average number of citations issued per stop was 1.49.  Acting Deputy Chief Young advised that the Traffic Division is experiencing vacancies which contributes to the reduction in issued citations. 

Acting Deputy Chief Young advised that there have been 26 fatal vehicular accidents to-date in 2021, compared to 35 at this same time last year.  Of the 26 fatalities, 65 percent were males and 68 percent were not wearing a seatbelt.  Drugs and alcohol have contributed to 38 percent of this year’s fatality accidents. 

Mayor Lucas thanked the Patrol Bureau for their monthly presentation on events throughout the Patrol Divisions.  He explained that it shows the officers as “real people” and builds relationships within the community.  He encouraged officers to keep participating in these events and sharing these stories.

  1. Office of the General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for May 2021.  In the month of May there were 36 private officer license suspensions, 14 license denials, and zero license revocations.

            Ms. Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeals:

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Dillon R. Myers-Hazzard.  A memorandum dated May 5, 2021, was presented to recommend denial of the armed security license of Dillon R. Myers-Hazzard.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(O), which stipulates the qualifications for a private security license and states that each applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards and may be denied if applicant has, “provided other facts or actions which demonstrate that the applicant is unsuitable or ineligible for license.”  Mr. Myers-Hazzard was denied based on his termination from the Ray County Sheriff’s Department on January 27, 2018.  This appeal was held last month to give Mr. Myers-Hazzard a chance to provide additional information regarding his termination from the Ray County Sheriff’s Department.  Mr. Myers-Hazzard did not provide any additional information.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to uphold the denial of the armed security license of Mr. Dillion R. Myers-Hazzard.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Homeland Security Protective Service. A memorandum dated May 24, 2021, was presented to recommend upholding the April 9, 2021 fine and probation of Homeland Security Protective Service.  The fine is in the amount of $1,000, and the probation term is two years.  The basis of for the fine and probation 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(2) states, “All licenses expire one year from the date of initial issuance.  For licenses renewed after their expiration date, the license will be processed as a new applicant.”  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.”  On March 10, 2021, Mr. Clifford O’Rear was providing private security services wearing a Homeland Security Protective Service uniform armed with a gun.  Mr. O’Rear’s license expired on March 2, 2021. 

A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to reduce the fine to $500 and to reduce the probation term to one year.  The vote was 4-0 in favor. 

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Jurni S. Jackson. A memorandum dated June 8, 2021, was presented to recommend denial of the unarmed security license of Mr. Jurni S. Jackson.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(H), which stipulates in part the qualifications for a private security company and states that each applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards and the applicant must, “Be of good moral character by having no felony convictions, or city ordinance convictions, which have an essential element fraud, dishonesty, an act of violence, bribery, illegal drug use, sexual misconduct, any other similar acts constituting moral turpitude as defined by the common law of Missouri.”  Mr. Jackson received a Misdemeanor conviction for Possession of Paraphernalia out of Eastborough, Kansas on September 2, 2020. 

A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to uphold the denial of the unarmed private security license of Jurni S. Jackson.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, John L. Donlow II.  A memorandum dated June 8, 2021, was presented to recommend denial of the private officer license transfer of Mr. John L. Donlow II.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations 10-2.050(3)(O), which stipulates the qualifications for a private security license and states that each applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards and may be denied if the applicant, “Provides other facts or actions which demonstrate that the applicant is unsuitable or ineligible for license.”  While Mr. Donlow was providing private security services for Brosnan Security at Walmart, Mr. Donlow was arrested for stealing from Walmart.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to uphold the denial of the private officer license transfer of Mr. John L. Donlow II.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Dalton J. Brewster.  A memorandum dated June 10, 2021, was presented to recommend denial of the unarmed private security license of Mr. Dalton J. Brewster.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(H), which stipulates in part the qualifications for a private security company and states that each applicant applying for a license under these provisions must meet these standards and the applicant must, “Be of good moral character by having no felony convictions, or city ordinance convictions, which have an essential element fraud, dishonesty, an act of violence, bribery, illegal drug use, sexual misconduct, any other similar acts constituting moral turpitude as defined by the common law of Missouri.”  On August 24, 2017, Mr. Brewster was convicted of Misdemeanor Theft at Macy’s in Overland Park, Kansas.  He was also arrested the same day for another theft at Scheels, which was dismissed for a plea on the other conviction.

            A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to uphold the denial of the unarmed private security license of Dalton J. Brewster.  The vote was 4-0 in favor. 

  1. Mr. David Kenner. Mr. Kenner advised that the Board needs to elect a Treasurer.  A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to elect Commissioner Wagner as Board Treasurer.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.
  2. Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas presented a memorandum that included recommendations for changes to future Board meetings.  The Board will discuss these potential changes prior to next month’s meeting.   
  3. Commissioner Cathy Dean. Commissioner Dean read the resignation letter of Former Commissioner Nathan Garrett.  Commissioner Garrett’s resignation was effective June 11, 2021, and was due to a change in residency. 

Commissioner Tolbert thanked Commissioner Garrett for his service to the Department, and expressed his appreciation for his commitment to his role on the Board.  Mayor Lucas echoed Commissioner Tolbert’s comments, and stated that although they did not always see eye-to-eye, he appreciated their working relationship. 

  1. Commissioner Mark Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert noted the reduction in homicides from last year.  He requested a report on the Social Worker Program each month. 
  2. 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, November 12, 2021

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

 

Audit Committee Meeting:

 

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

 

Regular Meetings:

 

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 Mayor Lucas, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn the open meeting at 11:23 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 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, June 15, 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

            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.