November 10, 2020, Meeting

Publish Date 12/09/2020


MINUTES OF THE
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 10, 2020


A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, November 10, 2020, in the Community Room at Police Headquarters, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.

PRESENT:
Commissioner Don Wagner, President
Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Vice President
Commissioner Cathy Dean, Treasurer
Commissioner Nathan Garrett, 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 Wagner. Rabbi Douglas Alpert provided the invocation. Commissioner Tolbert joined the meeting via telephone conference. Mayor Lucas joined the meeting at 9:34 a.m.


1. Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee.

Councilwoman Heather Hall gave thanks to all veterans for their service, and wished them a Happy Veterans Day. Councilwoman Hall advised that the Budget Committee is meeting today to vote on City Ordinance 200959. The ordinance requires quasi-city organizations to increase their minimum wage to $15/hour. She advised that the Department falls under the requirements in Ordinance 200959.

Councilwoman Hall advised that the Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee will hold a joint meeting with KCPD staff and the City’s Finance Department to discuss consolidation of City and Police Department resources. This meeting will occur on either December 2, 2020, or December 9, 2020. Chief Smith advised that Deputy Chief Karen True is serving as the Department’s liaison during this process.

Commissioner Garrett expressed concerns regarding consolidations with the City. He mentioned the ineffectiveness of the OneIT project. He also mentioned that the Department still has not been compensated for the officers’ salaries that are working at the airport. Commissioner Garrett appreciates the interest and opportunities for consolidation, but wants to ensure that such consolidations are efficient and effective for both parties. Councilwoman Hall agreed.
Councilwoman Hall spoke about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. She advised that KCPD received $500,000 of relief funds through Clay County. These funds will be used towards applicable expenses at KCPD’s Shoal Creek Patrol Division and the Regional Police Academy.

2. Chief of Police Richard C. Smith.

Chief Richard Smith provided a COVID-19 update. He advised that the Department is currently experiencing a large outbreak of positive cases.
Chief Smith provided the four-month Operation LeGend overview. He advised that aggravated assaults are still down 26 percent, homicides are down 28 percent, and non-fatal shootings are down 11 percent, compared to the statistics prior to Operation LeGend.

Chief Smith introduced Reverend Darron Edwards. Reverend Edwards spoke about Getting to the Heart of the Matter, a partnership of local churches and KCPD joining together to establish trust and reduce violence within the community. The initiative was developed by Reverend Edwards, Reverend Ronald Lindsay, and Reverend Emanuel Cleaver III. Reverend Edwards advised that in less than six months, over 75 faith leaders have joined together to promote peace, calm, and understanding between the police and community. Getting to the Heart of the Matter meets quarterly.

3. Public Comments.

An individual named Sadeh spoke in support of the KCPD and Chief Smith, and expressed her disappointment with the name-calling by individuals opposed to the Department at the last meeting. Sheryl Ferguson expressed concerns with the statement and case file review process when officers are involved in critical incidents. She also expressed concerns about taxpayers’ money being spent on Department litigation. Ky Williams, Gloria Boehm, and an individual named Jesse called for the termination or resignation of Chief Rick Smith. Emily Boullezar spoke about the murder rate in the City and contributing factors. Indigenous Xi advised that the Black Panther Party will hold an armed demonstration on December 19, 2020. He also demanded the termination or resignation of Chief Smith.

4. Approval of minutes.

A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on October 27, 2020. The vote was 5-0 in favor.


5. Executive Services Bureau

Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
a. Appropriation Reduction for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. A memorandum dated November 2, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of the 2.25 percent reduction to the Police Department General Fund per City Ordinance 200572. This reduction is due to the unprecedented economic impacts of the COVID-19 recession on the City’s finances. The total reduction to the Police Department’s General Fund totals $5,446,191.50.
A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to accept the 2.25 percent reduction to the Police Department General Fund, in the amount of $5,446,191.50. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

b. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. A memorandum dated November 2, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Public Safety Sales Tax Fund, Police Drug Enforcement Fund, Clay County COVID-19 Fund, Police Grants 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 5-0 in favor.

c. Adjustments to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A memorandum dated November 2, 2020, was presented to recommend an adjustment of appropriations totaling $100,000 within the Special Services Fund for purchases related to social service outreach.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve adjustments to appropriations in the amount of $100,000 for purchases related to social service outreach. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

d. Adjustment to Special Revenue Accounts for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A memorandum dated November 2, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of a $500,000 adjustment from the Unappropriated Fund Balance of the Liability Self-Retention Fund to the Contractual Services – Settlements account within the Liability Self-Retention Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to approve a $500,000 adjustment within the Liability Self-Retention Fund. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

e. Bid 2021-4: New 2021 Model Year Ford Police SUVs. A memorandum dated October 29, 2020, was presented to recommend approval to award Bid 2021-4 to Shawnee Mission Ford for the purchase of 26 new 2021 Ford Police SUVs. The total anticipated expenditure is $859,690.00.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to award Bid 2021-4 to Shawnee Mission Ford, for the purchase of 26 new 2021 Ford Police SUVs, at a total anticipated expenditure of $859,690.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

In response to a question, Deputy Chief True advised that she will provide the Board with a report detailing the Department’s fleet (model year, mileage, etc.). Sheryl Ferguson inquired why the Department receives bids from dealerships instead of the vehicle manufacturers. Deputy Chief Francisco advised that vehicle manufacturers sell directly to dealers only.

f. Bid 2021-5: New 2021 Model Year Dodge Charger Police Pursuit Vehicles. A memorandum dated October 28, 2020, was presented to recommend approval to award Bid 2021-5 to Landmark Dodge for the purchase of five 2021 Dodge Chargers, at a total anticipated expenditure of $142,225.00 ($28,445.00 per vehicle).
A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to award Bid 2021-5 to Landmark Dodge, for the purchase of five 2021 Dodge Chargers, at a total anticipated expenditure of $142,225.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

g. Bid 2021-1: Multi-functional Devices and Software Management System. A memorandum dated October 28, 2020, was presented to recommend approval to award Bid No. 2021-1 to GFI Digital, Inc. for multi-functional devices and software management system. This is a one-year contract period, with four additional one-year renewal options. The anticipated yearly expenditure is $187,711.44.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to award Bid No. 2021-1 to GFI Digital, Inc. for multi-functional devices and software management system, at a total cost of $187,711.44. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

6. Professional Development and Research Bureau

Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for November 2020. There is currently only one recruit class at the Academy. The class is made up of 10 regional recruits and one KCPD recruit; the KCPD recruit was recycled from a prior class due to an injury. Due to the COVID-19 economic crisis, the Department has placed a hiring freeze on vacant positions, including entrant officer positions. In response to a question, Deputy Chief Wadle advised that KCPD currently has 42 individuals in the hiring pool that will be eligible to start the Academy once the freeze is lifted; 50 percent of those individuals are minorities, including women. Commissioner Garrett noted that there will be no one graduating the Academy within the next several months to fill the positions of those members retiring at the end of the year.

Acting Deputy Chief Dull advised that the PAL Center remains fully operational at this time. Everyone attending the PAL Center completes a health screening prior to entering the building. Currently, the PAL Center is averaging 150 attendees per week.

Acting Deputy Chief Dull presented the following items for the consent agenda:
a. Project 982: Off-Duty Employment
b. Project 1293: Equal Employment Opportunity
c. Project 1297: Lactation Accommodations
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 982, as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 1297, as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 1293, as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

7. Investigations Bureau

Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the Investigations Bureau report for October 2020. To-date in 2020, there have been 160 homicides, compared to 129 at this time last year; there were 116 homicides for this same time frame in 2018, 130 in 2017, and 108 in 2016. There were 56 non-fatal shootings in October 2020, compared to 39 in October 2019. There have been an additional 11 living victims in November 2020. Deputy Chief Francisco advised there have been 430 drive by shootings year-to-date 2020, compared to 359 at this time last year. There were 29 drive by shootings in October 2020, compared to 27 in October 2019. Of the 29 drive by shootings in October 2020, 73 victims were identified; ten of the victims sustained injuries. There were 210 firearms recovered Department-wide in October 2020, compared to 225 in October 2019; 2,099 firearms have been recovered year-to-date 2020, compared to 2,067 for the same time frame in 2019.

In response to a question regarding cases presented for prosecution, Deputy Chief Francisco advised that the Department continues to submit cases to the Prosecutor’s Office. Filing of the cases (on the prosecution side) has slowed down due to working remotely during the pandemic.

8. Administration Bureau

Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division Report for November 2020. He advised that Crime Lab backlog is trending very favorably. The Lab reduced its total backlog of 767 cases to 708 cases, which is a ten-year low.

Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated November 4, 2020. For this time period, Department strength is 1,311 sworn law enforcement personnel. Budgeted strength for law enforcement personnel is 1,375, leaving 64 vacant positions. For this time period, Department strength for career civilians is 560; budgeted strength for career civilians is 600, leaving 40 vacancies. Deputy Chief Wadle advised that personnel numbers will reduce dramatically with upcoming retirements, resignations, and the current hiring freeze, with no relief in sight. He also noted that it takes 18 months to get an individual hired and trained before they are out on patrol.

On December 1, 2020, the Department plans to reconfigure the Panasonic Arbitrator in-car patrol video recording system to reflect a 90 day retention period of all non-evidentiary, un-held patrol video. Deputy Chief Wadle advised that the Office of Community Complaints (OCC) is currently conducting retention research on this change because policy currently allows complainants 90 days to file a complaint. This will become problematic if the in-car or body worn camera videos are not available to OCC when reviewing a complaint.

A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to defer the discussion and changes to the retention schedule until OCC completes its research on the matter. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

9. Patrol Bureau

Deputy Chief Karl Oakman spoke about recent community events throughout the patrol divisions. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that Officer Kevin Eifer, Mayor’s Detail, was recently presented with a Chief’s coin for helping catch a homicide suspect while off-duty. Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summary for September 2020. He noted that violent crime decreased by five percent between the months of August and September 2020; however, violent crime has increased by seven percent compared to the same time frame in 2019. Statistics from September 2020 show that homicides decreased by 33 percent property crimes decreased by nine percent compared to the previous month.

Deputy Chief Oakman advised that calls for service decreased by five percent between September and October 2020. The 911 Call Center has received 810,727 calls year-to-date, and 338,497 of them were handled by alternative means. Response times slightly increased from September to October 2020, but they are still lower than they have been in years past.

Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of October 2020. Total citations in October 2020 totaled 11,056 compared to 15,205 in October 2019. There have been 114,651 citations have been issued year-to-date 2020. The average number of citations per stop in the month of October by Traffic Enforcement Officers was 1.45.

There have been 89 fatality accidents to-date 2020, compared to 61 at this time last year. Deputy Chief Oakman advised that alcohol and drugs have contributed to 58 percent of the fatalities this year. In 80 percent of this year’s fatality vehicles, seatbelts were not worn.

10. Office of Community Complaints

Mr. David Jackson, Tekki LLC, provided a demonstration of the new OCC website. The website is still in the design and build phase. Once completed, individuals will be able to file and track complaints, along with communicating directly with OCC employees. The goal of the website is to increase the efficiency, functionality, and transparency of the OCC.

Commissioner Garrett spoke about the tension between communities and the police in the last several months. He asked if the OCC has observed any relevant correlation between tension and complaints filed, substantiated, etc. Director Bennekin advised that the OCC has not seen a dramatic increase in complaints filed or complaints substantiated. However, the OCC is experiencing an increase in third parties complaints.

The OCC continues educational outreach about the complaint process, and welcomes feedback from community members and partners.

11. Audit Committee

Commissioner Dean advised that an audit was conducted on the Communications Unit in April, 2020. Based on employee input regarding mandatory overtime, 12-hour working days were discussed. It was determined that the Communications Unit does not have enough employees to allow for 12-hour shifts. However, it was determined that 10-hour shifts would be possible. The Communications Unit staff are enthusiastic about this change, and hope it will decrease the amount of overtime required. Commissioner Dean advised that the Communications Unit plans to implement the 10-hour shift in January, 2021.
Commissioner Dean advised that despite the current hiring freeze, the Communications Unit is allowed to continue hiring for vacant positions.

12. Mr. David Kenner

A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to renew the Department’s lobby agreement with Arnold and Associates, for the term of November 1, 2020 through October 31, 2021. The vote was 5-0 in favor.

Due to budgetary concerns, Mayor Lucas encouraged the Department to look at administrative contracts and evaluate the fees to see if any cost savings are available. Commissioner Garrett thanked Mr. Arnold for advocating for the Department, Board, and City.

13. Mayor Quinton Lucas

Mayor Lucas recognized Officer Kevin Eifert, Mayor’s Detail, for his off-duty actions that led to the capture of an armed homicide suspect. Mayor Lucas advised that the City has received CARES Act funds from Clay County, Missouri and Jackson County, Missouri. The City is in contact with Platte County, Missouri to obtain additional funds.

Mayor Lucas presented four draft Board resolutions for consideration. The proposed resolutions discuss the Board’s Commitment to First Amendment Rights and Community Safety in the wake of the death of George Floyd, changes to the community complaints process, and utilizing the DataKC policing statistics dashboard. These resolutions will be discussed and voted on at a later date.

14. Commissioner Don Wagner 

Commissioner Wagner congratulated the Investigations Bureau on their clearance rate.

15. Scheduled meetings 

The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:

Regular Meetings:

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

January 12, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

February 16, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

March 23, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

April 6, 2021, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

May 4, 2021, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.

June 15, 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 its open meeting at 11:20 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 February 19, 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, November 10, 2020, 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
Commissioner Nathan Garrett - 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 November 10, 2020:
The Board went into closed session at 11:33 a.m.

1) Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to authorize certain settlement authority in the claim of Rita Aguirre and XXXX [Name redacted for confidentiality and privacy reasons] in an amount not to exceed $___.[1] The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

2) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on October 27, 2020. The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

3) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Garrett, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on October 27, 2020. The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Wagner voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.

4) Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Commissioner Garrett, 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 Tolbert voted Aye, Commissioner Dean voted Aye, and Commissioner Garrett voted Aye.
The Board adjourned at 1:22 p.m.


[1] The amount is redacted under § 610.021(1), R.S.Mo., because no final disposition of the matter has occurred.