May 12, 2020 Meeting

Publish Date 05/12/2020

                                                                                     

MINUTES OF THE

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING

TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020

 

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

PRESENT:

Commissioner Nathan Garrett, President

Commissioner Don Wagner, Treasurer

Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Member

Commissioner Cathy Dean, Member

Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member

Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney

Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police

 

This meeting was called to order at 9:31 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett.  Everyone in attendance did so via telephone conference.  Bishop Mark Tolbert provided the invocation. 

  1. Councilwoman Heather Hall. In honor of National Police Week, Councilwoman Hall thanked KCPD and the Board for their service to the City.  Councilwoman Hall advised that the Council will receive a short-term jail solution progress report later this week.  Long-term solutions are still being reviewed, based on a needs assessment.  
  2. Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith spoke about a recent tragedy, the line of duty death of Overland Park Police Officer Mike Mosher.  KCPD personnel are participating in the Salute to Blue convoy, and will be attending Officer Mosher’s funeral tomorrow. 

Chief Smith noted that the 168th Entrant Officer Class graduated from the Academy on Friday, May 8, 2020.

    Chief Smith advised Board members of a letter that the Department received from Alphapointe President & CEO Reinhard Mabry.  Alphapointe contacted Chief Smith regarding the release of detainees at the Metro Patrol Station located at 7601 Prospect Avenue.  Alphapointe, a nonprofit organization assisting the blind and visually impaired community of more than 2,200 people, is housed directly next to the Metro Patrol Division.  Since the Department began using the patrol station as a detention center in December 2019, detainees have been released daily.  The detainees are often seen on Alphapointe property harassing their employees and clients.  President Mabry noted that on three occasions, detainees have gained entry into the Alphapointe facility. 

    In his letter, President Mabry asked the Department for immediate intervention to prevent released detainees from trespassing on their property and approaching their personnel.  Chief Smith advised that there is a major bus hub in front of Alphapointe on Prospect Avenue, so many detainees are crossing Alphapointe’s property to catch the metro bus.  He believes improvements can be made, such as placing a sidewalk from the sally port leading to the bus stop or adding partial fencing to keep released detainees from entering onto Alphapointe property.  Mayor Lucas and Councilwoman Hall advised that the Council can assist with the erection of the fence to help prevent further issues.  Chief Smith will stay active in seeking a solution to this issue. 

    Chief Smith noted that there have been 11 Department members test positive for COVID-19.  At this time, many have recovered and are returning to work.  There are currently four members quarantined. 

    Commissioner Garrett spoke about the recent homicides, and stated that the City homicide rate is outpacing last year’s numbers.  Chief Smith advised that due to the current pandemic, courts are not accepting cases at this time.  A number of arrests are getting screened and released at the scene due to this.  During the six week stay-at-home order, there has been an overall decrease of aggravated assault incidents, but an increase of non-fatal shootings. 

  1. Public Comments. Members of the public submitted comments and questions for the Board through the Board of Police Commissioners’ email address, bopc@kcpd.org.

    An email from Sheryl Ferguson stated, “Don't worry guys, you will see me next month.  Just know I am watching.  I would like to thank the Commissioners, Especially Vice President Dean and President Garrett for the discussion in April's meeting regarding cameras.  I would also be curious for the answer to the question that Commissioner Tolbert asked regarding what is the percentage of cameras in vehicles today.  I would like to also stress that I too have been using what research I have available, admittedly mostly via Google, and know that just like the gaming devices the problem financially is not getting the equipment, but the additional cost and capability of storage.  So my question is as Kansas City is familiar with pilots and testing things out, so is it possible that you begin by making the purchase but only start using in the areas that have the highest area of concerns, such as the East and Central Patrol?  In hearing the information about the City and the $10 mil added to the budget as a mother you know you prioritize what is important. So if excuses can be found you will never have it done.  So just rip off the bandaid.  If you deem having the trust of the community important it cannot be put off anymore.  Thank you for your time.” 

The Board thanked Ms. Ferguson for her comments and questions.  Chief Smith advised that all of the cars in patrol (approximately 300), traffic officers, and the tactical officers in patrol all have in-car dash cameras.  The traffic motorcycles are not equipped with cameras.  The officers are also equipped with a microphone, so audio is also captured.  The Department is updating the current camera system from Coban to a more robust Panasonic system.  This new camera system will also support body cameras in the future.  Commissioner Garrett agreed that the Department needs to prioritize body cameras in the budget. 

    An email from Latahra Smith stated, “Hello, my name is Latahra Smith I am a Missouri state licensed Private Investigator. My questions for the Board are as follows: 1. What does it take for the KCPD to reopen a murder case when newly discovered evidence / witness statements names someone other than the person who has been convicted and who is serving prison time for said murder?  2. Is it not a concern of the KCPD when the innocent go to prison and the guilty remain free in the community to offend again?  3. Who do I contact to have a case as such reviewed? I would like to schedule a meeting with whomever that may be.  Thank you and have a blessed day.”  Chief Smith advised that personnel from the Investigations Bureau will reach out to Ms. Smith to discuss any pertinent information she has regarding KCPD cases.  The Department welcomes any evidence or witness statements that can provide value and tips to investigations.  All evidence and statements will be reviewed by case detectives, and if found as valid and credible, they will be forwarded on to the prosecutor’s office for a decision on charges.   

  1. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on April 14, 2020, and the minutes of the special meeting on April 21, 2020.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.
  2. Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
  3. Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Award. A memorandum dated

April 29, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Award in the amount of $300,000.00.  The funding period is January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

    A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to formally accept the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) Award.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  

  1. ArtsTech First Amendment to Agreement 2020. A memorandum dated

May 1, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of the ArtsTech first amendment to the 2020 agreement.  ArtsTech is the fiscal sponsor for the No Violence Alliance Initiative.  The amendment to the agreement includes an additional $124,173.40 of funding through December 31, 2020.  This contract in its totality is $186,655 for the period of January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. 

    Commissioner Tolbert asked for a Kansas City NoVA report at the next meeting.

A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the ArtsTech first amendment to the 2020 agreement.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. FY20 BJA – Operation Relentless Pursuit Award. A memorandum

dated April 29, 2020, was presented to formally accept the Operation Relentless Pursuit Award in the amount of $1,428,571, which includes a sub-award to the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department in the amount of $428,246.  The award period is April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2022.  The award provides funding for equipment, software licenses, and supplies. 

    Commissioner Tolbert noted that thousands of dollars are being spent on software, and requested that additional funding should be allocated to prevention programs.

A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to accept the Operation Relentless Pursuit Award in the amount of $1,428,571.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Proposed Department Fees – Fiscal Year 2020-21. A memorandum

Dated May 4, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of the proposed fee schedule for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.

    A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to adopt the proposed fee schedule for Fiscal Year 2020-2021, as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

    Deputy Chief True provided an update on the Communications Unit.  She advised that the Communications Unit is currently staffed with 89 members, leaving 17 vacant positions.  Four newly hired employees will begin their training with the Communications Unit on May 18, 2020.

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for May 2020.  He advised that the 168th Entrant Officer Class graduated on May 8, 2020; there were 28 KCPD recruits that graduated.  Due to COVID-19 concerns, the graduation ceremony was held privately, but live-streamed on the Department’s Facebook page.  The ceremony was viewed by more than 38,000 individuals on Facebook. 

The 169th Entrant Officer Class will resume training this week.  Their graduation is scheduled for September 10, 2020.  The 170th Entrant Officer Class is scheduled to begin training on June 15, 2020.  There will be approximately 40-45 KCPD recruits in the 170th Entrant Officer Class. 

Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that in-service training will resume next week.  The Police Athletic League is still closed to the public, so in-service training with be held at the PAL Center.  The DARE and PAL officers are currently assisting in patrol.  

Acting Deputy Chief Dull presented the following consent agenda items:

  1. Project #1110:  Bilingual Skill Pay
  2. Project #1214:  Police Foundation of Kansas City
  3. Project #791:  Limited English Proficiency
  4. Project #1266:  Separation, Compensation, and Clearance                 Procedures
  5. Project #1133:  Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law
  6. Project #1267:  Sworn Ranks, Titles, and Promotion Process
  7. Project #1227:  Physical and Psychological Examinations

Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that Project #1110 is a five-year review of the bilingual skill pay policy.  The dollar amount was removed from the policy, and will be in accordance with the memorandum of agreement with the FOP.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised there were no changes to Project #1214 upon completion of its five-year review.  Project #791 rescinds the current policy, and was initiated to comply with the Department of Justice’s Office of Civil Rights requirements that prohibit discrimination.  There were minor changes to Project #1266.  These changes include requiring individuals to schedule a separation meeting in advance with Human Resources, and the individual separating from employment must be escorted by a duty officer to their separation meeting.  Project #1133 was a five-year review of the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Law policy.  Language was added to Project #1267 and Project #1227 to provide more detail in the policies.

In regard to Project #1227, Commissioner Tolbert asked questions regarding mandatory physical and psychological evaluation conducted on members.  Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that every Department member has a psychological exam and physical exam during pre-employment.   Members in specialized units, such as Helicopter, Bomb and Arson, and Tactical Enforcement Teams, are required to have physicals before joining those specialized units.  Commissioner Tolbert believes that members should have evaluations done every two years to stay in front of potential issues. 

Chief Smith advised that yearly physicals are not required across the board.  The Department is working on securing a in-house psychologist as a pro-active mental health approach.  Commissioner Garrett agreed with Commissioner Tolbert, but advised this decision would be a legal and labor consideration.    

A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the consent agenda items as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the Investigations Bureau report for April 2020.  He advised that to-date in 2020, there have been 57 homicides, compared to 48 at this time last year. There were 46 non-fatal shootings in April 2020, compared to 35 in March 2019.  There have been an additional 28 victims as of May 11, 2020.  Deputy Chief Francisco advised there have been 146 drive by shootings year-to-date 2020, compared to 145 at this time last year.  There were 46 drive by shootings in April 2020, compared to 32 in April 2019.  Of the 46 drive by shootings in April, 105 victims were identified; and 15 of the victims sustained injuries.  There were 185 firearms recovered Department-wide in April 2020, compared to 156 in April 2019; 825 firearms have been recovered year-to-date 2020.

    In response to a question regarding the homicide increase in the South Patrol Divison, Deputy Chief Francisco advised there has been no determined reason for the increase.  He advised that South Patrol has problems with active gangs in the area.  These gangs migrate around the City, and have been specifically active in South Patrol recently causing crime trends in the area to increase.

    Deputy Chief Francisco spoke about the notable events in the Investigations Bureau report.  Four people have been arrested in the shooting of a five-year-old girl, and four firearms have been recovered in that case.  Charges have been filed, and the victim is making a recovery.  The Assault Unit also worked a case where the Independence Police chased a vehicle into our city and shots were fired from a second suspect vehicle into the vehicle that IPD was chasing.  The suspect was pursued, captured, and charged.     

  1. Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division Report for May 2020.  He advised that Crime Lab backlog is trending favorably, with the exception of trace.  The Trace Section is staffed with two members, leaving two vacancies.  One member recently retired, and the other member, Kevin Winer, was promoted as Director of the Crime Lab.  Deputy Chief Wadle commended Crime Lab personnel on their efforts to reduce backlog.  The DNA Section has completed 302 violent crime analyses, and 166 non-violent crime analyses year-to-date. 

Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated May 5, 2020.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,310 sworn law enforcement and 552 career civilians.  Deputy Chief Wadle noted that the number of sworn members does not include the officers that graduated on Friday, May 8, 2020.

  1. Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for March 2020.  Deputy Chief Oakman noted the slight increase in violent crimes and property crimes.  Response times have slightly decreased. Calls for service are down 15 percent. 

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of April 2020.  He advised that speeding citations are up.  The Department has seen an increase of speeding due to fewer cars on the roadways.  The Traffic Enforcement Squads have increased speed enforcement.  Parking citations are down due to fewer cars in the downtown area.  Despite the decrease of parking citations, overall citations are still up year-to-date.  Interstate 435 at Holmes Road continues to be the City’s highest crash location.  There have been 24 fatality accidents to-date 2020, compared to 19 at this time last year; 71 percent of fatalities are males, and 70 percent did not use a seatbelt safety device. 

  1. Office of General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officers Licensing Unit Monthly Reports for March and April 2020. In March 2020, there were 36 private security license suspensions, 5 license denials, and one license revocation.  In April 2020, there were no license suspensions, three license denials, and no license revocations.
  2. Mr. David Kenner, Secretary/Attorney. Mr. Kenner advised that it is time for the Board to hold elections. A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to elect Commissioner Wagner as Board President, Commissioner Tolbert as Board Vice President, and Commissioner Dean as Board Treasurer.  Commissioner Garrett and Mayor Lucas are members.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.   
  3. Mayor Lucas. Mayor Lucas advised that police are not expected to enforce the guidelines he has set in his stay-at-home and social distancing orders. He explained that police have an important job of protecting the City from crime, and members of the community are asked to make responsible decisions to protect themselves from the virus.  
  4. Commissioner Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert thanked Mayor Lucas for his decision to maintain “police as police”, and keeping each other well and mindful without enforcement from the Department.
  5. Commissioner Wagner. Commissioner Wagner thanked Commissioner Garrett for serving as the Board’s President for the last two years.  
  6. Commissioner Dean. Commissioner Dean thanked Mayor Lucas for his leadership during this crisis.
  7. Scheduled meetings. The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:

 

Board Hearing:

 

In Re:  The Matter of the Disciplinary Proceedings of:

P.O. James Peeler #5706

THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CONTINUED FROM ITS CURRENT SETTING OF APRIL 7, 2020, AND WILL BE RESET FOR A FUTURE DATE TO BE DETERMINED BY THE BOARD.

 

Regular Meetings:

 

June 16, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

July 7, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

August 25, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

September 29, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

October 27, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

November 10, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

December 8, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

 

    A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:24 a.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution.  Following a roll call, the vote was 5-0 in favor.

RESOLUTION

WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on November 5, 2019, and

WHEREAS, said notice indicated that the Board of Police Commissioners might go into closed session during said meeting, and

WHEREAS, notice of the closed meeting follows the guidelines of Section 610.020 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Police Commissioners go into closed session during the meeting being held on  Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City, for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, labor negotiations, and litigation matters.

The following Commissioners were present and voted to go into closed session as follows:  

    Commissioner Nathan Garrett            -   Aye

    Commissioner Don Wagner                -   Aye

    Commissioner Mark Tolbert              -   Aye

    Commissioner Cathy Dean                -   Aye

    Mayor Quinton Lucas                    -   Aye

    There being a quorum present and the question of holding a closed session having received an affirmative public vote of at least three (3) members, a closed meeting was held as set forth above.

Below are the votes from the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners meeting on May 12, 2020:

The Board went into closed session at 11:39 a.m. 

1)  Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to approve the Non-Duty Related Disability Retirement of xxxx [Name redacted for privacy and confidentiality reasons].  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

2)  Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on April 14, 2020.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

3)  Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

The meeting adjourned at 12:24 p.m.   

 

   

____________________

_______________________                                         President

    Secretary/Attorney