MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 19, 2019
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
PRESENT: Commissioner Nathan Garrett, President Commissioner Leland M. Shurin, Vice-President Commissioner Don Wagner, Treasurer Commissioner Mark Tolbert, Member Mayor Quinton Lucas, Member Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police
This meeting was called to order at 9:34 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett. Director Linda Netzel led the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain William Fox provided the invocation.
Awards and Commendations. The Certificates of Commendation were presented to Officers Jeremy Chick and Elizabeth Garza. At approximately 10:00 p.m. on October 26, 2018, Officers Chick and Garza were proactively patrolling the area near 58th and Prospect. As they drove by a business, they saw a man actively shooting straight into a parked, occupied car.
The officers immediately got out of their vehicle to chase the armed man on foot. He headed into a wooded area near the highway, where officers caught up with him. They were able to take him into custody, but he did not have the weapon used in the shooting.
With the assistance of K-9 officers, an area canvas was conducted resulting in the location of the weapon. The firearm had an extended magazine and a live round in the chamber. Using the serial number on the gun, it was determined to be a stolen weapon out of Raytown, Missouri.
During the canvas, officers also found two homes that had been struck by gunfire, as well as another occupied vehicle. Several spent shell casings were also found along on the street and sidewalk.
The Distinguished Service Medal was presented to Officer John King. On July 9th, 2019, Officer King was headed to the Parkville DMV with his wife and infant son, to register their vehicle. As they pulled into the parking lot of the DMV, they saw a flood of people running out the back door. Officer King could tell by the fear on their faces that something was very wrong. He told his wife to drive herself and their baby to a safe location after he got out of the vehicle and ran toward the building.
As he was heading to the DMV, he asked a citizen running in the opposite direction for details of what was going on. The citizen told Officer King that a woman, who was inside the DMV, walked outside and immediately fired a gun in the parking lot. The citizen pointed to a female who was sitting alone in a car as the person who had just fired the gun.
Officer King kept his eye on the woman in the car, and called dispatch to tell them what was going on. Dispatch told him officers were on their way, so he planned to keep observing the woman until they arrived. However, the woman suddenly got out of her car, carrying a purse, and headed back to the door of the DMV.
Not knowing if anyone was still inside, Officer King knew he could not wait for assisting officers to arrive. He drew his firearm and identified himself as a police officer, because he was not wearing a uniform or badge. He commanded the woman to put the purse down and get on the ground. She refused and continued walking towards the DMV building.
Officer King saw she did not have a gun in her hands, but feared it was in her purse. Before she could reach the entrance of the DMV, Officer King ran towards her, taking her down in the parking lot. A nearby citizen ran over to help Officer King keep her in custody until assisting officers arrived.
As she was being taken into custody, officers discovered what Officer King had feared; she had a loaded firearm in her purse. The woman was later charged with Discharge of a Firearm.
The Board took a recess at 9:41 a.m. The meeting resumed at 9:52 a.m.
Councilwoman Heather Hall. Councilwoman Heather Hall advised that the City Council will host a business session on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, to address the need for jail space in the City. She also advised that the Council is reviewing the Fiscal Year 2020 proposed budget of $1.6 billion. As Vice Chair of the Finance, Governance & Public Safety Committee, Councilwoman Hall explained that finding a permanent solution to fund the Department’s social worker program, which needs about $400,000, is a top priority when reviewing the budget. She also advised that increasing the number of officers is a priority; thirty additional officers have been requested in the proposed budget.
Councilwoman Hall thanked members of the Department for their service, dedication and sacrifices they make to protect the City. She stated that numerous conversations have occurred discussing state versus local control; however, she advised that there are bigger, more important discussions that need to occur before discussing state versus local control.
Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith and Commissioner Garrett thanked Councilwoman Hall for her steadfast support for law enforcement issues. Chief Smith stated that the Department has had several discussions about the sustainability of the current jail space throughout the City. He advised that he has concerns about how long these short-term solutions can be sustained, and expressed the urgency for robust discussions to establishing a permanent long-term solution. Currently, patrol division satellite detention facilities, along with space at the Heartland Behavioral Health Center, are being used to house arrests in the City.
Commissioner Garrett expressed his concerns with the current jail crisis. He advised that the long-term solution needs to go far beyond just confinement space, and needs to include valuable resources such as mental health treatment and counseling.
Chief Smith announced that after long and careful deliberation, officers in the Mounted Patrol Section will be reassigned to open spots in patrol divisions. The move will allow for eight additional detectives to be assigned to the Homicide Unit to assist an already extensive effort to combat violent crime. Meanwhile, KCPD will explore options for a possible multi-jurisdictional Mounted Patrol concept. Violent crime across the City continues to increase, and there are currently 11 more homicides than there were at this time last year. KCPD’s homicide clearance rate is below the national average, and the increase in detectives will allow for a decrease in workloads, so that each case can be thoroughly investigated.
Public Comments. Mr. Howard Brummett advised that he is not in favor of local control, and is in favor of the governing Board. Mr. Brummett stated that he wants to become more educated and familiar with the workings of the Department.
Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on October 22, 2019. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99.Sergeant Brad Lemon advised that the Annual Cops-with-Kids Holiday Shopping Event will be held at Ward Parkway Mall on December 4th, 2019, at 4:00 p.m. The FOP will be purchasing gifts for approximately 150 children for the holidays. The Lodge is working to adopt multiple foster children for the holidays as well. Sergeant Lemon also invited the Board to attend the FOP Holiday Party at 6:00 p.m. on December 3, 2019, at the FOP Lodge. Sergeant Lemon noted that he was appointed to the FOP National Pension Committee. Commissioner Shurin thanked Sergeant Lemon on behalf of the Board for all that the FOP does to interact with and help the community.
Executive Services Bureau.Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the following items for Board approval: a. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2019-20. A memorandum dated November 5, 2019, was presented to recommend approval of budget transfers. This budget transfer will affect the General Fund, Police Grants Fund and the Grants Special Revenue Fund.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
b. Modification – 2018 Project Safe Neighborhood Sub-Award. A Memorandum dated November 1, 2019, was presented to recommend acceptance of a modification to the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhood Sub-Award. The Board approved the original award in the amount of $196,910.00, for the period beginning September 1, 2019 through September 30, 2021. The modification to the award provides an increase of $40,457.00, for a total award amount of $237,367.00. This is the first year for the award, and it is 100 percent federally funded. The increased award will fund the hiring of a Gang Intelligence Squad Analyst to the LERC Violent Offender Squad.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the modification to the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhood Sub-Award and accept the increased funding. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
c. RFP 2019-5, Audit Services Renewal. A memorandum dated November 4, 2019, was presented to recommend approval for a one-year contract renewal with Cochran Head Vick & Co. for auditing services, at an anticipated expenditure of $73,450.00. This is the first renewal of four optional and additional periods.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the one-year contract renewal with Cochran Head Vick & Co., at an anticipated expenditure of $73,450.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
d. Greater KC Public Safety Credit Union – Credit Card. A memorandum dated November 4, 2019, was presented to recommend increasing the credit limit of the Department credit card, used for travel arrangements, to a limit of $25,000.00. The increase in credit limit will allow the Fiscal Division to streamline training and travel arrangement expenses in an efficient manner.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Shurin, to approve the increase of the Department credit card limit to $25,000.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Deputy Chief Francisco provided an update on the Communications Unit. He advised that the Communications Unit is currently staffed with 90 members, leaving 16 vacant positions. The 911 hold time for the month of October 2019 was 17 seconds, compared to 21 seconds in October 2018. There are currently 18 applicants in various stages of the hiring process. He noted that the number of calls received continues to increase, and the number of call takers are decreasing.
The Department plans to increase recruitment efforts for the Communications Unit through job fairs and the Department’s Media Unit. In response to a question, Deputy Chief Francisco stated that the exit surveys show varying reasons for resignations, such as the mandatory overtime, the evening and overnight shifts, pace of the job itself, and residency requirements. He believes the Department pay scale for Communication Specialists is in-line with comparable departments. KCPD is actively seeking applicants for the positions of call takers and dispatchers; applications can be submitted online at careers.kcpd.org, or by a walk-in appointment to the KCPD Employment Section, located at Police Headquarters Annex, 901 Charlotte, Kansas City, Missouri, 64106.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Deputy Chief Robert Kuehl presented the Academy Class Summary for November 2019. He advised that there are currently 72 KCPD recruits within two training classes at the Academy. He added that the 168th Entrant Officer Class is in their sixth week of training, and has not yet lost a recruit due to resignation, injury, or discipline.
Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Roger Lewis presented the Investigations Bureau report for October 2019. He advised that to-date in 2019, there have been 130 homicides, compared to 119 at this time last year. There have been eight homicides this November so far. The clearance rate for 2019 homicides cleared is at 42 percent. Deputy Chief Lewis thanked Chief Smith for his decision to increase the number of detectives in the Homicide Unit. The increase will allow for two additional detectives on each of the four squads.
There were 39 non-fatal shootings in October 2019, compared to 47 in October 2018. To-date in 2019, there have been 443 living shooting victims identified, compared to 397 at this time last year. There have been 17 living shooting victims identified so far in November 2019. Deputy Chief Lewis advised that the City is on-pace for over 500 failed homicides.
Deputy Chief Lewis advised there were 27 drive by shootings in October 2019, compared to 34 at this time last year. Of the 27 drive by shootings in October, 51 victims were identified; 12 of the victims sustained injuries. There have been 359 drive by shootings year-to-date, compared to 369 at this time last year. Two of these incidents have resulted in homicides. There were 225 firearms recovered in October 2019. There have been 2,041 firearms recovered Department-wide, year-to-date.
In response to a question from Mayor Lucas, Deputy Chief Lewis advised that the state clearance rate is down due to detectives spending time on higher-profile, federal cases.
Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Laningham congratulated Director Linda Netzel on her upcoming retirement. Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Regional Criminalistics Division monthly statistics for November 2019. She advised that total Lab backlog continues to decrease; however, incoming DNA cases/requests continue to exceed the number of cases completed.
In the first 14 months of utilizing the CJIC Grant Firearms Project, 4,400 cases have been completed and 22,000 items have been examined. With the grant, the Department was able to hire three lab technicians, two BrassTrax machines, and one microscope. The grant funding will continue through 2020. In response to a question, Director Netzel advised that the Lab is always looking for ways to improve the DNA backlog, but increased personnel is what’s needed most.
Deputy Chief Laningham presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated November 6, 2019. For this time period, Department strength is 1,323 sworn law enforcement and 557 career civilians. There are 70 members attending the Academy. Budgeted strength for this year is 2010 positions overall, and 1,955 of those positions are occupied at this time.
Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman spoke about various community events that occurred over the last month throughout the Patrol Divisions. Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Crime Summaries for August and September 2019. He advised that response times have stayed consistent with past years even though there have been approximately 40,000 more 911 calls than there were at this time last year.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of October 2019. There were 15,205 citations issued Department-wide in September 2019. The average number of citations issued per traffic stop in the month of September, by members of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, was 1.57. There have been 135,567 citations issued year-to-date 2019. Interstate 435 at Holmes Road continues to be the City’s highest crash location. Total City-wide crashes to-date 2019 total 18,304 compared to 19,188 at this time last year. There have been 61 fatality motor vehicle accidents in to-date 2019, compared to 72 at this time last year; 79 percent of fatality crashes are males, and in 53 percent of the fatality crashes, there was no seatbelt used.
Commissioner Garrett requested discussion and exploration into the school resource officer program. He believes that reaching youth in schools is important, and Kansas City Public Schools have been receptive to the program. Commissioner Garrett would like to see the program expanded, with more officers in schools throughout the City.
Office of General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for October 2019. In the month of October, there were 54 private officer license suspensions, seven license denials, and one license revocation.
Commissioner Leland Shurin. Commissioner Shurin presented the proposed changes to the Private Officer Licensing Regulations for approval. He advised that if the Board approves the proposed changes, they will have to be passed on to the State for approval.
A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the proposed changes to the Private Officer Licensing Regulations. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Commissioner Garrett thanked the Committee for their hard work in revising the regulations.
Office of Community Complaints. Director Merrell Bennekin thanked the Department for their involvement with the Learn to Live event. The event gave college-aged students a chance to have real discussions with law enforcement, allowing the students to interact with police officers in a positive way. Chief Smith and the Board thanked Director Bennekin for his continued community outreach, involvement and support for the Department.
Secretary/Attorney David Kenner. Mr. Kenner wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.
Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas agreed with Councilwoman Hall and Chief Smith that the jail conversation and solution is the utmost priority for the public safety of this City. He urged the need to identify short-term and long-term solutions to the crisis that the City is facing. Mayor Lucas also agreed with Councilwoman Hall that there are more important discussions that need to take place before focusing on the state versus local control issue. He advised that the City Budget is currently being worked on; however, the City Manager will not be in office for the duration of the Budget review. The City Manager, Troy Schulte, announced his upcoming retirement from the City last month. Mayor Lucas advised that the Department will have City administration available to them to assist with the budget during this transition.
Scheduled meetings.The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:
In Re: The Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings of: P.O. Tamara Solomon #5208 December 3, 2019, 9:00 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
In Re: The Matter of Disciplinary Proceedings of: P.O. James Peeler #5706 January 24, 2020, 9:00 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
December 10, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
January 14, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
February 18, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
March 10, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
April 14, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
May 12, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
June 16, 2020, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:26 a.m. and reconvene in closed session as provided in the following resolution. Following a roll call, the vote was 5-0 in favor.
WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on January 16, 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, November 19 2019, 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 Leland Shurin - Aye Commissioner Don Wagner - Aye Commissioner Mark Tolbert - 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 19, 2019:
The Board went into closed session at 11:41 a.m.
1) Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to ratify the settlement in the Clay v. Sunflower Group, et. al, lawsuit for $125,000. The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
2) Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Shurin the Board voted to approve the application for continued employment of Reserve Police Officer George McCall. The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on October 22, 2019. The vote was 5-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
4) Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, 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 Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.