May 11, 2021 Meeting

Publish Date 05/11/2021

MINUTES OF THE

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS

TUESDAY, MAY 11, 2021

 

 

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

 

PRESENT:

 Commissioner Mark Tolbert, President

Commissioner Cathy Dean, Vice President

Commissioner Nathan Garrett, Treasurer

Commissioner Don Wagner, Member

Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney

Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police

ABSENT:

Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member

 

This meeting was called to order at 9:30 a.m. by Commissioner Tolbert.  Mayor Lucas had an excused absence.  Administrative Assistant Irene Munoz led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Chaplain Dennis Dewey provided the invocation.  Councilwomen Heather Hall and Katheryn Shields were unable to attend today’s meeting on behalf of the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee.  Pastor Darron Edwards, Getting to the Heart of the Matter, was not present at today’s meeting.

  1. Chief Richard C. Smith. Chief Smith advised that the Department does not pay Pastor Edwards and his colleagues for their involvement in Getting to the Heart of the Matter.  The program is strictly volunteer, and these clergy members have donated their time and efforts to the Department.  Chief Smith advised that the Third Party Administrator for Workers’ Compensation presentation by Lockton Companies will be moved to the July 27, 2021, meeting agenda. 

Chief Smith congratulated Deputy Chief Karl Oakman on being named the next Chief of Police of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department (KCKPD).  Deputy Chief Oakman has distinguishably served the City with KCPD for 29 years and 11 months.  Chief Smith believes Deputy Chief Oakman will be a great asset and leader of the KCKPD. 

Chief Smith spoke about new features that are being included on the Department’s website (www.kcpd.org).  These features, such as public reporting on 911 calls, calls for service mapping, response times, Crime Lab productivity, personnel summaries, and traffic summaries, provide transparency for the community.  The Department is seeking funding for a more functional, real-time dashboard for these reports.

  1. Public Comments. Anna Stelmach, a social worker in the City, spoke about her concerns with policing in the City.  She referenced a public comment made by Stephen Georgeulakos at last month’s Board meeting.  She spoke about the trauma that minorities experience by police.  Ms. Stelmach does not agree with qualified immunity for officers. 

Sheryl Ferguson demanded that the Board start listening to the community.  She expressed her dissatisfaction with the amount of de-escalation training that officers are required to attend.  She spoke about a challenge coin that was drafted by the Vice Unit, and stated that it increased the divide between the police and the community.  Ms. Ferguson has concerns about officers returning to duty after being involved in use of force incidents.  She also expressed her concerns with the video of the death of George Floyd being used in the Department’s training curriculum. She believes Chief Smith should resign because he is not the right leader for the Department.

Doug Shafer, former teacher of Cameron Lamb, spoke on behalf of Mr. Lamb’s family and friends.  Mr. Lamb died as a result of an officer-involved shooting.  Mr. Shafer spoke about Mr. Lamb’s life and all that he was involved in.  Mr. Shafer demands the resignation of Chief Smith and local control of the Department.

Tierra Cox, sister of Terrance Bridges, spoke on behalf of Mr. Bridges’ family and friends.  Mr. Bridges died as a result of an officer-involved shooting.  She demands justice for her brother, and demands the officer be held accountable.  She demanded Mayor Lucas to call for a vote to terminate Chief Smith. 

Khadijah Hardaway spoke on behalf of the mothers that have lost their children in officer-involved shootings.  She demanded that the community speak up and take action to hold the Department accountable.  Ms. Hardaway demanded the Department release the video of the officer-involved shooting at 63rd and Prospect in March 2021 at a local gas station.  She demanded the resignation or termination of Chief Smith.

Officer Timothy Griddine spoke about his life and upbringing in Kansas City.  He has been a Kansas City resident for five decades.  He believes the divide between the Department and community is not racially based, but falls on cultural differences.  He expressed his concerns with prosecution in Jackson County.  He believes the Department needs to utilize the churches in the community to bridge the gap between the community and the police.

Latahra Smith, KC Freedom Project, spoke on behalf of inmates in the Missouri Department of Corrections.  Ms. Smith requested information on the process of inmates obtaining records for their pro se cases.  Ms. Smith provided her contact information, and Records Unit personnel will contact her to answer any questions she has. 

  1. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the minutes of the special teleconference meeting on April 20, 2021.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on April 27, 2021.  The vote was 4-0 in favor. 

  1. Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Karen True provided an update on the Communications Unit.  She advised that current staffing of the Unit is 100, leaving six vacant positions.  She also advised that mandatory overtime has been reduced by 616 hours from this same time last year. 

In regard to a question about Academy fees during the meeting on April 27, 2021, Deputy Chief True advised that the Academy cost for an outside agency recruit is $5,124.09.  The salary cost for an instructor is $7,171.29 per student, per Academy class.  Deputy Chief True advised that the Department researches how much other academies charge for training when determining fees.  Department-wide fees, such as Academy training, require Board approval. 

In response to a question, Deputy Chief True advised that there is an advantage in

training local outside agency recruits.  When officers answer calls near neighboring jurisdictions, they often interact with that jurisdiction’s officers.  Officers are able to work together and understand each other better when they are trained the same. 

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Deputy Chief Mike Wood presented the Academy Class Summary for May 2021.  The 171st EOC, consisting of 20 outside agency recruits, will graduate on July 8, 2021.  There are zero KCPD recruits in the Academy currently due to the hiring freeze.  The 172nd EOC is scheduled to begin on June 14, 2021.  The candidate/agency make up of that class is unknown at this time. 

            Deputy Chief Wood provided an update on the Police Athletic League (PAL).  PAL officers are currently coaching youth in boxing, volleyball, strength and conditioning training, and a running club.  In April 2021, 1,019 youth attended activities at the PAL Center.  During the month of April, PAL also hosted their 6th Annual Clothing Giveaway.  This event reached 378 families, and over 8,000 pounds of clothing and hygiene products were given away.   

            Deputy Chief Wood introduced Sergeant Katharine Coots.  Sergeant Coots is a 25-year veteran of KCPD, and is currently assigned to the Youth Services Unit.  Sergeant Coots provided an update on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) and Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T.) programs. 

            Sergeant Coots advised that Youth Services officers currently teach the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. curriculums in the classrooms approximately 15 hours per week.  Both of these curriculums are evidence-based facilitated learning styles that focus on good decision making.  These programs are six weeks long, and are available for students in kindergarten through 2nd grade. 

Sergeant Coots advised that the 2019-2020 school year ended in March 2020 due to COVID-19; Youth Services officers still managed to reach approximately 4,000 students during that shortened school year.  In August 2020, the Youth Services Unit implemented a virtual program.  With two officers and one sergeant, the Unit reached approximately 2,000 students virtually.

When these officers/instructors are not teaching the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. programs, they are actively involved in other activities within the Youth Service Unit, such as PAL events, Youth & Police Initiative, Summer Nights, back to school events, and other related initiatives.  The Youth Services Unit currently has two officers, one reserve officer, and one sergeant that run the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. programs. 

  1. Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Joseph Mabin presented the Investigations Bureau report for April 2021.  He highlighted notable events by the Property Crimes Division, Real Time Crime Center, and the Gang Intelligence Squad. 

Deputy Chief Mabin advised that to-date in 2021, there have been 56 homicides, compared to 57 at this time last year.  There were 44 non-fatal shootings in April 2021, compared to 46 in April 2020.  There have been an additional 20 non-fatal shooting victims identified in May 2021.    Deputy Chief Mabin advised there were 40 drive by shootings in April 2021, compared to 46 in April 2020.  There have been 140 total drive by shootings this year.  Of the 40 drive by shootings in April 2021, 98 victims were identified, and 12 of the victims sustained injuries. 

Deputy Chief Mabin explained that drug seizures are up for the year.  In April 2021, officers seized 48 pounds of methamphetamine, compared to one pound in April 2020.  He also noted that there were significant increases in seizures of marijuana, heroin, and fentanyl.  Narcotics-related arrests by Narcotics and Vice Division (NVD) detectives have also increased this month; detectives made 16 narcotic-related arrests in April 2021, compared to 3 in April 2020.  There was a substantial increase (147 percent) of narcotics-related cases submitted for prosecution by NVD staff in April 2021.  There were 197 firearms recovered Department-wide in April 2021, compared to 185 in April 2020.  The Department has recovered 715 total firearms this year, compared to 825 at this time last year.

Deputy Chief Mabin presented the Executive Summary of Case Dispositions for April 2021.  He advised that 344 cases were submitted for prosecution in April 2021, and 131 were charged in custody or issued warrants for arrest.  He advised that the Investigations Bureau is currently working to condense the report to make it more reader-friendly.  Commissioner Garrett expressed great thanks to the members of the Investigations Bureau for their work on this report.  Deputy Chief Mabin believes that evaluating these statistics at the Unit level has been a useful exercise, and understanding the lifecycle of these cases is important. 

  1. Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Michael Hicks presented the May 2021 Crime Lab Report.  He advised that the Crime Lab has designed a new report that focuses on productivity and backlog.  He advised that from December 2020 to February 2021, productivity was down because Lab personnel were working on a project to remove lithium batteries from cell phones before storing them.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that the Lab is currently down 11 members; there is one candidate in the hiring process.  This position will be funded through a grant.  Another retirement is anticipated by the end of the month. 

Deputy Chief Hicks presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated May 5, 2021.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,798.  Budgeted strength is 2,026.  There are currently 1,253 sworn law enforcement personnel, leaving 116 vacancies.  There are currently 540 career civilians, leaving 68 vacancies.  There are 44 vacant police officer candidate positions due to the hiring freeze.  The Department has a total of 228 career vacancies.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that if the Department continues losing personnel without restoring these positions, it will soon reach staffing levels of the 1980s and 1990s. 

Commissioner Garrett explained that the Department and Board should continue working with City Council to identify funding for an Academy class.  Commissioner Garrett explained that the City and Department will suffer tremendously if the budget isn’t restored soon.  Response times will continue to increase because there will be no officers available to answer calls for service.  In response to a question, Chief Smith advised that officers assigned to specialized units, such as PAL and D.A.R.E., will be pulled and placed back into the field to answer calls for service if funding is not restored. 

Deputy Chief Hicks advised that in April 2021, there were no members terminated or demoted, five that received suspensions of 14 days or less, one that received a suspension greater than 15 days, and four written reprimands, and two pending further action. 

Chief Smith spoke more about the effects of the hiring freeze.  He advised that if the Department keeps losing officers without relief, citizens can expect call times for emergency medical personnel to also increase.  Often times, EMS requests police to arrive and clear the scene before EMS will approach. 

Deputy Chief Hicks advised that he will start reporting on the Information Services Bureau, which consists of Information Technology (IT), Digital Technology Section (DTS), and the Records Unit.  He advised that OneIT, a collaborative group between the City’s and KCPD’s IT departments, has not met since October 2020.  The Department is waiting on the City to respond to its request to change the terms of the memorandum of understanding.  Commissioner Dean advised Deputy Chief Hicks to notify the City Manager in this regard.

Deputy Chief Hicks spoke about a new online reporting system through Lexis Nexis.  The reporting will be for property damage only.  The project implementation will begin on May 17th, and is expected to go live in approximately six months.  Deputy Chief Hicks advised that his staff will reach out to Ms. Smith regarding her public comment regarding record requests. 

  1. Patrol Bureau. Commissioner Tolbert congratulated Deputy Chief Karl Oakman on being named KCKPD’s new Chief of Police.  Deputy Chief Oakman spoke about recent community events throughout the patrol divisions.

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for March 2021.  He noted that homicides were up in March 2021, but assaults, burglaries, and robberies were trending down. He advised that response times are slightly up, and will likely continue to increase due to the staffing shortage.  He advised that Shoal Creek, North Patrol, and South Patrol will feel the effects of the staffing shortage first, and then it will move into the inner city.   

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of April 2021.  He noted that total traffic citations are down; however, parking tickets increased from last month.  He noted that the Department is still actively recruiting parking control officers since they are funded through an initiative.  Total citations in April 2021 totaled 9,044 compared to 9,770 in April 2020.  The average number of citations per stop in the month of April by Traffic Enforcement Officers was 1.47. 

Deputy Chief Oakman advised that there have been 20 fatal vehicular accidents to-date in 2021, compared to 24 at this same time last year.  Of the 20 fatalities, 70 percent were males and 69 percent were not wearing a seatbelt.  A majority of the fatal accidents have occurred on Saturday evenings into Sunday mornings between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.  Drugs and alcohol have contributed to 25 percent of this year’s fatality accidents. 

In response to a question, Deputy Chief Oakman advised that training to become a parking control officer takes approximately six weeks.  Parking control officers have to be familiar with City ordinances, radio procedures, geography, and driving.  More information on careers in Parking Control can be found at www.careers.kcpd.org.

  1. Office of the General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for April 2021.  In the month of April, there were 41 private officer license suspensions, seven license denials, and zero license revocations.

            Ms. Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeals:

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Eagle Eye Security.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend upholding the March 8, 2021 fine and probation of Eagle Eye Security.  The basis of the denial 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(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.”  Mr. Kenneth Class of Eagle Eye Security was working private security with an expired license on February 25, 2021.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to reduce the fine from $1,000 to $500.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.  

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Ross Dress For Less.  A memorandum dated April 7, 2021, was presented to recommend upholding the March 8, 2021 fine and probation of Ross Dress for Less (Ross).   The basis of the denial 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(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.”  During a field inspection of Ross on February 18, 2021, Ms. Lana Muritok identified herself as a loss prevention officer.  Ms. Muritok was not licensed to perform any private security services.

            Due to prior violations, a motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to deny the appeal and uphold the two year probation term and $1,000 fine.  The vote was 4-0 in favor.

  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.  The Board requested additional information regarding Mr. Myers-Hazzard’s employment and termination from the Ray County Sheriff’s Department.  The vote will be held until next month.
  2. Mr. David Kenner. Mr. Kenner thanked Deputy Chief Oakman for his service to KCPD, and wished him well as Chief of Police of KCKPD.
  3. Commissioner Nathan Garrett. Commissioner Garrett spoke favorably of Deputy Chief Oakman, and stated that KCKPD is getting a great leader in him.  Commissioner Garrett urged community members that support the police to speak with their Council members regarding the budget cuts and staffing shortages. 
  4. Commissioner Cathy Dean. Commissioner Dean echoed Mr. Kenner’s and Commissioner Garrett’s comments about Deputy Chief Oakman.  She stated that she has always valued his perspective, and wished him good luck at KCKPD.
  5. Commissioner Mark Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert spoke about Deputy Chief Oakman’s deep roots in the KCK community, and wished him much success as Chief of Police. 
  6. 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

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CONTINUED FROM ITS CURRENT SETTING OF FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2021, AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.

 

BOPC 21-03: In Re: The Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings of:

Sergeant Gregory Satter #4927

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CONTINUED FROM ITS CURRENT SETTING OF APRIL 30, 2021, AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.

 

Audit Committee Meeting:

 

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

 

Regular Meetings:

 

June 15, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

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 Commissioner Garrett, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn the open meeting at 11:34 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, May 11, 2021, at KCPD Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City, for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, labor negotiations, and litigation matters.