October 27, 2020 Meeting

Publish Date 11/12/2020

                                                                                                                 

MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 27, 2020

  

A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, October 27, 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 9:33 a.m. by Commissioner Wagner.  Sergeant Christopher Onik led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Chaplain Herman Gantt provided the invocation. 

  1. Finance and Governance Committee. Councilwoman Heather Hall and

Councilwoman Kathryn Shields attended the meeting on behalf of the City’s Finance and Governance Committee.  Councilwoman Shields attended the meeting by telephone.  Councilwoman Shields spoke about an 11.5 percent budget reduction across the Board for all City Departments.  She spoke about merging various Department sections with the City’s, such as IT and HR, for potential cost savings.  After Councilwoman Shields’ comments, Councilwoman Heather Hall asked Mayor Lucas to verify that the proposed budget cut is 11 percent, not 11.5 percent.  Mayor Lucas confirmed that the Finance Department is requesting an 11 percent cut, but it has not been approved by City Council at this time.     

  1. Chief of Police Richard C. Smith. Chief Richard Smith introduced Pastor Chris Pinion, Lead Pastor at LifeQuest Church and partner with Taking it to the Streets – Kansas City.  Mr. Pinion spoke about Friday Night Fun Nights with the community and KCPD staff.  Friday Night Fun Nights are City-wide public events held to bridge the gap between the Police Department and community members with activities, food, and fun.  Chief Smith thanked Taking it to the Streets, LifeQuest Church, and Mr. Pinion for the donations to make Friday Night Fun Nights possible. 

            Chief Smith provided an update on Operation LeGend.  He advised that the initiative has concluded, and the Federal agents have left.  He advised that before Operation LeGend, Kansas City was averaging five homicides per week.  During the initiative, Kansas City was averaging approximately four homicides per week.  Now, at the conclusion of the initiative, Kansas City is averaging two homicides per week.  Chief Smith advised that after the initiative concluded, the ATF has embedded eight of their officers in KCPD’s Assault Squad, and the FBI has embedded two agents and one analyst in the Homicide Unit.  Chief Smith emphasized that the focus of the initiative was only on violent crime.

            Chief Smith spoke about proposed budget cuts from the City, and the money owed to the Department by the City’s Aviation Department.  Chief Smith advised that the Department provides staffing for the Airport Police, and the Aviation Department was expected to pay these salaries.  The Department has not been reimbursed at all for these salary expenses. 

            In response to a question, Mayor Lucas advised that due to public resistance factors and budget concerns, City Council has not voted on this matter.  The future of airport policing at the new terminal is still up for debate.

            In response to a question about clearance rates, Chief Smith advised that KCPD’s clearance rates exceed the national average despite the increased detective workloads.  As of today, the Department’s clearance rate is 68 percent. 

  1. Public Comments. The Board received 124 comments sent by email as of 0800 hours on October 27, 2020.  The comments are as follows:  27 people demanded that the Board make contract negotiations with the Fraternal Order of Police open to the public, eight emails were received in support of Chief Rick Smith, one additional email was received in support of KCPD as a whole, 46 emails were received demanding the immediate firing or resignation of Chief Smith, one email was received to fire Officer Blayne Newton (the officer involved in the arrest of pregnant woman Deja Stallings), 14 additional emails called for the removal of both Chief Smith and Officer Newton, two requests were made to keep the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. programs in Kansas City schools, five individuals expressed concerns with the recent actions of Attorney Stacy Shaw, seven individuals demanded justice for Deja Stallings and her baby, six individuals expressed concerns with the tents occupying City Hall lawn, one individual spoke about the nationwide rise in homicides, one individual called for justice for Donnie Sanders and defunding the police, one individual requested that the Police Department release officer-involved shooting information immediately to the public, two individuals expressed concern with Police misconduct and racial injustice, and two individuals spoke about transparency and education with the public regarding police operations.

            In addition, the Board heard comments from the following individuals:  Sheryl Ferguson, Rev. Nia Chandler, Bishop James Tindall, Rev. Vernon Howard, Gwen Grant, Judy Ancel, Gavriela Geller, Michael Fine, Justin Stein, KJX, Jude Stocker, Ryan X., Bishop Frank Douglas, Gloria Boehm, and Damon Daniel.  Each individual called for the resignation of Chief Smith.  After the public comment portion of the meeting had ended, Rev. Vernon Howard stood up and continued to call on the Board to hold a vote to terminate Chief Smith.  Members of the public joined Rev. Howard.

            Due to unrest in the Board room, a motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to go into closed session to discuss litigation matters, personnel matters, and labor negotiations at 10:41 a.m.  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.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to come out of closed session and reconvene in open session at 11:55 a.m.  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.

  1. Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on September 29, 2020.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.
  2. Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Karen True presented the following items for Board approval:
  3. Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A memorandum dated

October 16, 2020, was presented to recommend acceptance of City Ordinance 200811; this Ordinance provides $90,000 to the Department as a supplemental appropriation from the U.S. Department of Justice in the form of a BYRNE JAG Grant.  This $90,000 will go toward salaries to support KC NoVA social service case workers. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to accept Ordinance 200811 and approve the supplemental appropriations as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Budget Transfers for Fiscal Year 2020-21. A memorandum dated

October 16, 2020, 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 Garrett, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve the budget transfers as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. MOWIN Subawards for Platte and Jackson County. A memorandum dated

October 13, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of the pass-through of the Missouri Western Interdiction and Narcotics Task Force subawards to their respective counties.  On September 29, 2020, the Board approved MOWIN Subaward 2019-MU-BX-0110 in the amount of $515,111.07.  The Department received $234,883.00 from the award, and will pass-through $218,361.13 to the Platte County Sheriff’s Office and $61,866.94 to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office in the form of a subaward. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve the pass-through of subawards as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Midwest HIDTA Drug Task Force Initiative Modification #G19MW0005A.  A memorandum dated October 13, 2020, was presented to recommend approval of the Midwest HIDTA Drug Task Force Initiative #G19MW0005A modification in the amount of $6,100.00 for training for a single purpose narcotic detector class, along with the offsetting modifications in the amount of $20,275.00 intended to be used for purchase of radios.  The HIDTA Metro Drug Task Force Initiative Award is now $990,288.00 combined with the HIDTA Violent Crimes Task Force Award in the amount of $139,857.00, for a total award amount of $1,130,045.00.   

            A motion was made by Mayor Lucas, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to approve Midwest HIDTA Drug Task Force Initiative #G19MW0005A modification as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Bid No. 2020-2, Police Uniforms.        A memorandum dated October 15, 2020, was presented to recommend award Bid No. 2020-2 to Galls, LLC, for police uniforms.  The total anticipated expenditure will be $489,760.08 for the period of November 1, 2020, through October 31, 2021, with the option to renew for three additional one-year periods.  In

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to award Bid No. 2020-2 to Galls, LLC, for police uniforms at a total anticipated expenditure of $489,760.08.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

            Deputy Chief True provided an update on the Communications Unit.  She advised that current staffing of the Unit is 97, leaving nine vacant positions.  She also advised that three new hires will begin training on November 2, 2020. 

            Deputy Chief True presented the requested budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.  The requested budget estimates the sum of money necessary next fiscal year to enable the Board to discharge the duties imposed upon it by RSMo Chapter 84 and to meet the expenses of the Department.  This item will be presented to the City for consideration.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Commissioner Garrett, to approve the requested budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022.  The vote was 4-0 in favor, with Mayor Lucas abstaining. 

  1. Professional Development and Research Bureau. Acting Deputy Chief Gregory Dull presented the Academy Class Summary for October 2020.  He advised that there have been no changes in the past month.   

Acting Deputy Chief Dull presented the following items for the consent agenda:

  1. Project 982: Off-Duty Employment
  2. Project 1211: Alert Notification System

Commissioner Garrett requested that the Board hold the vote on Project 982

because they were not provided with a summary of changes to the policy.  The Board agreed to postpone the vote on Project 982 until the next meeting.  RADD will draft a summary of the changes, and will provide them to the Board in advance of the meeting on November 10, 2020. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to approve Project 1211: Alert Notification System, as presented.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.  

  1. Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Mark Francisco presented the Investigations Bureau report for September 2020.  To-date in 2020, there have been 154 homicides, compared to 125 at this time last year; there were 115 homicides for this same time frame in 2018, 123 in 2017, and 104 in 2016. There were 53 non-fatal shootings in September 2020, compared to 38 in September 2019.  There have been an additional 50 living victims in October 2020.  Deputy Chief Francisco advised there have been 401 drive by shootings year-to-date 2020, compared to 332 at this time last year.  There were 53 drive by shootings in September 2020, compared to 30 in September 2019.  Of the 53 drive by shootings in September 2020, 148 victims were identified; 16 of the victims sustained injuries.  There were 220 firearms recovered Department-wide in September 2020, compared to 199 in September 2019; 1,889 firearms have been recovered year-to-date 2020, compared to 1,816 for the same time frame in 2019.

            Deputy Chief Francisco advised that the Department participated in the national Drug Take Back Day campaign on October 24, 2020.  Drug Take Back Day provides a safe and convenient way to dispose prescription drugs.  Deputy Chief Francisco advised that 2,508 pounds of prescription drugs were collected and disposed of during this event. 

  1. Administration Bureau. Deputy Chief Shawn Wadle presented the Regional Criminalistics Division Report for October 2020.  He advised that Crime Lab backlog is trending favorably.  There are currently 767 total cases in backlog which is a ten-year low for the Crime Lab.   The Lab is currently understaffed in the following sections: Digital Evidence, Trace, and Latent Prints.  Deputy Chief Wadle advised that Director Kevin Winer is taking the initiative to cross-train the Lab personnel in effort to reduce the additional backlog.   

Deputy Chief Wadle presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated October 5, 2020.  For this time period, Department strength is 1,322 sworn law enforcement personnel.  Budgeted strength for law enforcement personnel is 1,375, leaving 53 vacant positions.  For this time period, Department strength for career civilians is 563; budgeted strength for career civilians is 600, leaving 37 vacancies.  Deputy Chief Wadle advised that personnel numbers will reduce dramatically with upcoming retirements, resignations, and the current hiring freeze.  He also advised to-date 2020, there have been 36 sworn member retirements; there were 30 retirements during this same time frame in 2019.  There were 61 total law enforcement retirements at the conclusion of 2019, and 2020 retirements are expected to surpass that number.  Deputy Chief Wadle noted that due to the current hiring freeze, there will be no Academy classes to refill these vacant positions.  Position vacancies will continue to increase with no relief in sight.    

Deputy Chief Wadle presented documents from Nationwide for the Post-Employment Health Plan (PEHP) for Board signature.  The Board had no questions in regard. 

  1. Patrol Bureau. Major Steve Young presented for Deputy Chief Karl Oakman during his absence. Major Young spoke about recent community events throughout the patrol divisions.  Major Young presented the Monthly Crime Summary for August 2020.  He noted that violent crime increased by seven percent this month, but is still down 13 percent from the same time frame in 2019.   Response times have slightly increased, but are still lower than they have been in years past.  The 911 Call Center has received 766,951 calls year-to-date, and 320,566 of them were handled by alternative means. 

Major Young presented the Traffic Summary for the month of September 2020.  Total citations in September 2020 totaled 11,033 compared to 14,509 in September 2019.  There have been 103,595 citations have been issued year-to-date 2020.  The average number of citations per stop in the month of September by Traffic Enforcement Officers was 1.45.

There have been 81 fatality accidents to-date 2020, compared to 54 at this time last year.  Major Young advised that alcohol and drugs have contributed to 54 percent of the fatalities this year.  A large percentage of fatality accidents with drugs and/or alcohol involved are occurring on weekends and late at night. 

Sergeant Corey Carlisle from the DUI Section spoke about impairment statistics over the past year.  Sergeant Carlisle advised that in 2019, the DUI Section processed 1,046 DUIs; there were 536 DUIs processed in 2018 and 327 in 2017.  Sergeant Carlisle spoke about studies regarding driving under the influence of marijuana.  He advised that studies show that fatality accidents have tripled in states that have legalized marijuana.  He also noted that 41 percent of people believe that driving under the influence of marijuana is safer than driving under the influence of alcohol.  Studies also showed that 41 percent of people believed that those who regularly use marijuana are not usually impaired and are safe to drive. 

Sergeant Carlisle advised that in 2018, KCPD statistics show that 25 percent of fatal crashes involved marijuana impairment (or a combination of marijuana with other drugs and/or alcohol).  In 2019, that number increased to 31 percent.  Now in 2020, 54 percent of fatal crashes have involved drugs and/or alcohol.  The Accident Investigation Unit’s (AIU) general synopsis is that 90 percent of crashes in the City involved some kind of impairment. 

  1. Office of the General Counsel.  General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the Private Officer Licensing Unit Monthly Report for September 2020.  In the month of September, there were 54 private officer license suspensions, two license denials, and no license revocations.

            Ms. Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeals:

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, KCCT/Kevin C. Schnell.  A memorandum dated September 16, 2020, was presented to recommend the denial of the private security license of KCCT and Mr. Kevin Schnell.  The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(P), which stipulates an applicant may be denied if they have “been terminated from or resigned under investigation or threat of discharge from the department shall make an individual ineligible for a license.”  Mr. Schnell was terminated from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department in 2007.  Mr. Schnell was then employed by the Buckner Police Department, Belton Police Department, and Independence Police Department.  He left all of those positions on good terms. 

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Dean, to uphold the appeal and grant a private security license to Mr. Kevin Schnell/KCCT.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.

  1. Private Officer License Appeal, Christopher A. Gilio.  A memorandum dated October 22, 2020, was presented to recommend the denial of the unarmed private security license of Mr. Christopher A. Gilio.  The basis for the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050(3)(P), which stipulates an applicant may be denied if they have “been terminated from or resigned under investigation or threat of discharge from the department shall make an individual ineligible for a license.”  Mr. Gilio retired from the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department under threat of termination on December 22, 2015.  Mr. Gilio currently holds a private security license in North Kansas City, Missouri.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Garrett, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to uphold the appeal and grant an unarmed private security license to Mr. Christopher A. Gilio.  The vote was 5-0 in favor. 

  1. Audit Committee. Commissioner Dean advised that an audit was conducted on the Communications Unit.  Based on employee input, 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, the possibility of 10-hour shifts will be discussed at the next meeting
  2. Mr. David Kenner. A motion was made by Commissioner Dean, with a second by Mayor Lucas, to rescind the June 2020 approval of the Office of Community Complaints consent agenda policy.  The vote was 5-0 in favor.   
  3. Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas presented a draft Board resolution for consideration.  The draft resolution outlines the Board’s commitment to First Amendment Rights and Community Safety in the wake of the death of George Floyd.  Mayor Lucas asked the Board members to review the resolution and hold discussion in regard next month.

            Mayor Lucas spoke about the Board’s willingness to listen to public comments and the importance of productive conversation regarding the long-term safety of people in the community.  However, Mayor Lucas believes the direct insults to the Board and Chief were uncalled for. 

  1. Commissioner Cathy Dean. Commissioner Dean echoed Mayor Lucas’ comments.  Commissioner Dean added that the Department continues minority recruitment efforts.  However, the hiring freeze and budget cuts are hindering these efforts.
  2. Commissioner Don Wagner. Commissioner Wagner spoke about the damages to the Fallen Officer Memorial Statue that stands in front of Police Headquarters and the threats received by Attorney Stacy Shaw.  He advised that the negative actions and comments towards the Police Department do not help the current situation.  He spoke highly of Chief Smith, and stated that Chief Smith is widely-respected around the country.  Commissioner Wagner explained that the negative comments pile weight on the officers’ shoulders, and if it continues, there won’t be any officers to answer 911 calls.   
  3. Scheduled meetings. The Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri has scheduled the following meetings:

 

Regular Meetings:

 

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.

 

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 Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 12:37 p.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, October 27, 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 October 27, 2020:

The Board went into closed session at 10:41 a.m. 

1)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to approve the application for continued employment of Reserve Police Officer Mitchell Branch.  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 Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to approve the non-duty related disability retirement, if eligible, 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.

3)         Following a motion by Mayor Lucas and a second by Commissioner Dean, the Board voted to approve the settlement of the claim of xxxx [Name redacted for privacy and confidentiality reasons] for $725,000.  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.

4)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on September 29, 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.

5)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean 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 12, 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.

6)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to come out of closed session and reopen in open session at 11:52 a.m.  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.

7)         Following a motion by Commissioner Dean and a second by Mayor Lucas, the Board voted to go into closed session to discuss litigation matters at 12:37 p.m.  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.

8)         Following a motion by Mayor Lucas 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 Board adjourned at 1:26 p.m.

 

____________________

_______________________                                                                   President

       Secretary/Attorney