MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, September 10, 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
ABSENT: Richard C. Smith, Chief of Police
This meeting was called to order at 9:35 a.m. by Commissioner Garrett. Civilian David Matthys led the Pledge of Allegiance. Chaplain Leonard LaGuardia provided the invocation.
Awards and Commendations. Board Resolution 19-02 was presented to the Office of Community Complaints to recognize its 50th Anniversary of operation as a civilian oversight agency for the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. On September 5, 1969, the Board adopted a proposal and several procedures to establish a process through which complaints against the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department could be submitted. The Office of Community Complaints expeditiously mediates, conciliates, investigates, and reviews, with neutrality and impartiality, allegations of misconduct made against members of KCPD. The Office of Community Complaints of Kansas City, Missouri has the distinction of being the oldest, continuously operating civilian oversight agency in the United States.
The Special Unit Citation was presented to the Media Unit, and the Certificate of Appreciation was presented to Chris O’Dell of Xander E-Solutions. In early 2018, Chief Smith requested that the Department develop and design its own website, apart from the City’s, that would expand KCPD’s digital footprint and provide more information to the public in an easily accessible manner. The Information Services Division worked with the Media Unit to identify a vendor for the program, and Xander E-Solutions was selected.
Media Unit members Carolyn Merino, Beth Phelps and Sarah Boyd mapped out what the new website should look like. Mobile device adaptability and easy navigation were among the top features the website should include. Chris O’Dell was the project lead from the Xander E-Solutions, and began meeting with the Media Unit in the summer of 2018.
By January 2019, Xander E-Solutions had completed the basic foundation of the website. Media Unit members were then charged with migrating and organizing more than 1,000 pages of content from the old website to the new. This involved learning the content management software and developing a project management system to ensure everything was completed accurately and in a timely manner. All of this was in addition to the Media Unit’s regular duties.
The new kcpd.org website was launched at the March 2019 Board meeting. There were several issues with the website servers after the launch, and Chris O’Dell made himself constantly available to help resolve. Once the website was launched, it received rave reviews from the public and local media for its design and accessibility.
The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Detective Jason Steinke. For the past 14 years, Detective Steinke has served in the Forensic Computer Crimes Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory (HARCFL). After being assigned to the HARCFL, Detective Steinke soon became a certified forensic examiner through the FBI Computer Analysis Response Team (CART). CART examiners are experts at extracting data from digital media, even when the media is damaged by the forces of nature or by suspects attempting to prevent data from being recovered. After becoming certified in his field, he took it upon himself to earn additional certifications, becoming a valuable asset to KCPD as well as the Kansas City FBI field office.
Only a few people at the FBI and Detective Steinke are trained for in-system programming and chip-off procedures for mobile devices. This has allowed him to extract data from phones that are beyond repair after intentional damage or having been shot.
In January 2017, a woman named Toni Anderson was reported missing. Almost three months later her car was found in the Missouri River, and she was deceased inside. Another local department was leading the investigation, but KCPD offered assistance, and Detective Steinke was asked to assist with extracting data from her cell phone to help investigators with their case. He did so, even though it had been in the river for nearly three months.
From April 2011 to September 2014, Detective Steinke was the only Macintosh Certified Examiner due to examiners leaving the HARCFL, and a backlog of cases began piling-up. Through his tenacity, he alone completed 95 exams on Macintosh computers going through over 16,000 gigabytes of data. He also performed over 85 cell phone data extractions, along with his daily computer forensics related work at the HARCFL. Detective Steinke’s work has provided evidence to solve numerous cases.
The Meritorious Service Award was presented to Administrative Assistant Jennifer Van Kirk of the Department’s Polygraph Section. Civilian Van Kirk has served the KCPD for 42 years, starting here in 1977. She has served as a desk clerk at three patrol divisions, as well as the administrative assistant for the former Computer Unit and Vice Unit. She has served in her current position in the Polygraph Section since 1991. In those 28 years, she has coordinated thousands of polygraph examinations both for the hiring process and for investigative elements.
Her supervisors past and present have said that Ms. Van Kirk has been critical to the Polygraph Section’s success, and that she can always be counted on to take charge of her duties and work well with others. She also developed and implemented a computerized tracking system for the Section.
In her 42 years with the Department, Civilian Van Kirk has amassed multiple letters of commendation and appreciation, as well as a Special Unit Citation. She also has received no discipline in her entire four-decade tenure of service.
The Board took a recess at 9:48 a.m. The meeting resumed at 10:00 a.m.
Acting Chief of Police Mark Francisco. Acting Chief of Police Mark Francisco spoke for Chief Richard Smith during his absence. Acting Chief Francisco presented the Major Cities Chiefs Association’s violent crime survey. The survey details major city crime statistics from January 1, 2019 through June 30, 2019, and compares them to the 2018 mid-year statistics. Acting Chief Francisco advised violent crime is on the rise nationally, not just in Kansas City.
Public Comments. Mr. Howard Brummett spoke about his previous encounters with the KCPD, and believes that policing has changed over the years. He stated that he no longer feels a sense of security in his community due to the increase of crime. He also expressed his concerns with the governance of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri.
Rev. Ester Holzendorf spoke in favor of the following proposed City Ordinances: 190665, 190714, 190702, 190740 and 190711. She asked for the Board’s support behind these proposed ordinances.
Takishia Ford, a community advocate, believes that with the number of resources available in the State, it is time to start strategically solving the issues in the community and finding solutions to the reoccurring problems.
Troy Robertson, a member of Team H.O.N.K. / H.O.N.Q., spoke about his recent encounters with KCPD officers. He advised that he is scared of the police, and believes officers need training on interactions with the community.
Crystal, a member of Team H.O.N.K. / H.O.N.Q., advised that H.O.N.K. stands for Helping Others Notice Kings, and H.O.N.Q. stands for Helping Others Notice Queens. She spoke about a recent incident where a police officer tore down a sign that she made that said “All Lives Matter.” She believes that it was disrespectful for the officer to tear down her sign.
Commissioner Garrett referred Mr. Robertson and Crystal to the Office of Community Complaints.
A man named Kobe spoke about officers harassing Troy Robertson. He believes that too many resources are being spent on Mr. Robertson, and not enough are being spent on the violent crime in the area. He believes Mr. Robertson is not violent, and not a threat to anyone in the community.
Rev. Dr. Vernon Howard Jr., President of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, advised that the family and friends of Ryan Stokes are still grieving the loss of Mr. Stokes, six years later. He advised that the case has lingered far too long, and he requested that the Department bring the matter to a close in a just way, giving justice to Mr. Stokes and family. He requested that the Board act immediately on these issues.
Curtis Taylor spoke about the officer-involved shooting death of his nephew, Ryan Stokes. Mr. Taylor advised that the Department showed no empathy when delivering the death notification of Mr. Stokes. He requested that officers receive immediate training on how to deliver death notifications. He also requested that the Department send chaplains and victim advocates to the families of those impacted by officer-involved shootings. Lastly, he requested that when officer-involved shootings occur, the Department shall give a neutral statement regarding the shooting to the local media outlets.
Councilman Brandon Ellington offered his condolences to the Stokes’ family. Councilman Ellington advised that he is aware of Team H.O.N.K. / H.O.N.Q., and he believes the Department should partner with individuals who are familiar with the areas and crimes throughout the City. Councilman Ellington presented proposed City Ordinances 190665, 190714, 190702, 190740 and 190711. He asked for the Board’s support behind these proposed ordinances.
Approval of minutes. A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the minutes of the open meeting on August 20, 2019. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
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 September 9, 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. In response to a question, Deputy Chief Francisco advised that this transfer moves appropriations for the creation of an account designated for the KCI Airport Operations Division, to track expenses of the Division.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Shurin, to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
b. Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Year 2019-20. A memorandum dated September 9, 2019, was presented to recommend acceptance of City Ordinance No. 190638 and an appropriation of $310,000.00 from the City to increase funds for the TIPS Hotline Program through the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to accept City Ordinance 190638 and an appropriation of $310,000.00 from the City to increase funds for the TIPS Hotline Program through the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
c. Department Automotive Tire Renewal. A memorandum dated August 19, 2019, was presented to recommend the second renewal of Bid 2017-12 for automotive tires with State Avenue Tire & Auto. State Avenue Tire & Auto has agreed to renew the contract without any price increase for the period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. Quantities of this renewal have been adjusted to meet the Department’s needs. The estimated expenditure for this renewal is $151,445.20.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Wager, to approve the renewal of Bid 2017-12 for automotive tires with State Avenue Tire & Auto, at an estimated expenditure of $151,445.20. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
d. 2018-JAG-002 MOWIN Task Force Subaward. A memorandum dated August 27, 2019, was presented to recommend acceptance of the 2018-JAG-002 Missouri Western Interdiction and Narcotics Task Force Subaward Agreement for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020, in the amount of $718,798.30; $445,222.62 of the amount is Federally funded, while $273,575.68 comes from State funds.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the 2018-JAG-002 MOWIN Task Force Subaward in the amount of $718,798.30. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
e. Acceptance of the 2019-2020 Traffic Services Grant Awards. A memorandum dated August 22, 2019, was presented to recommend acceptance of the Missouri Department of Transportation Highway Safety and Traffic Division’s Traffic Services Grant Awards in the amount of $557,363.00, for the period of October 1, 2019 through September 30, 2020. The Department has been receiving grant funding from MODOT since 1982. The contracts provide funding for salaries, benefits, overtime, training, and equipment to increase compliance with traffic laws.
A motion was made by Commissioner Tolbert, with a second by Commissioner Shurin, to approve the MODOT Highway Safety and Traffic Division’s Traffic Services Grant Awards in the amount of $557,363.00. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
f. Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission Contract Amendment. A memorandum dated August 30, 2019, was presented to recommend Amendment #1 to the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission one-year contract. On April 9, 2019, the Board approved the one-year contract with the Crime Commission for the administration of the Crime Stoppers Program and the TIPS Hotline. The contract period is May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020.
The City Council passed Ordinance 190638 on August 15, 2019, allocating an additional $310,000 to the Crime Commission to fund the increased award amount of $25,000 for homicide tips. The original contract remains in full force, but the amendment contains new provisions regarding the $310,000 fund increase. Commissioner Shurin expressed his desire that the increased award amount be widely publicized.
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to approve the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission Contract Amendment #1 as detailed. 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 97 members, leaving nine vacant positions. The 911 hold time for the month of August 2019 was 22 seconds, compared to 23 seconds in August 2018. The incoming call volume continues to increase.
Professional Development and Research Bureau.Deputy Chief Robert Kuehl presented the Academy Class Summary for September 2019. He advised that the 168th Entrant Officer Class will begin on October 14, 2019. There will be approximately 30 KCPD recruits in the class. The 166th Entrant Officer Class will graduate from the Academy on Thursday, September 12, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. at the Regional Police Academy.
Deputy Chief Kuehl presented the following consent agenda item for approval: a. Project #957: Formal Funeral Plan
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Wagner, to approve the consent agenda item as presented. The vote was 5-0.
Officers Elizabeth Commino, Daniel Watson and Moneica Landrum, from the Youth Services Unit, made a presentation on the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. Programs. Officer Commino advised that the Unit teaches the D.A.R.E. Program to 5th and 7th grade, and teaches the G.R.E.A.T. Program to 4th, 6th and 8th grade. They also visit kindergarten and 1st grade classes periodically throughout the school year. She advised that the Unit averages 25 classes per week during the school year. They also attend numerous community events every week.
Officer Commino advised that two officers in the Youth Services Unit are funded by COMBAT, and two officers are funded by the Department. She advised that over the years, funding for the Unit and the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. Programs has been reduced substantially.
Officer Commino spoke about the number of youth positively-impacted by the D.A.R.E. and G.R.E.A.T. Programs. She believes the contacts and impact that these officers have with the youth through the programs they teach are priceless. Commissioner Tolbert spoke about the benefits of this program, and stated that additional funding for these programs is necessary. Mayor Lucas stated that the relationships built through these programs are invaluable. Commissioner Garrett thanked the Youth Services Unit officers for their dedication to the youth of Kansas City.
Investigations Bureau. Major Diane Mozzicato spoke for Deputy Chief Roger Lewis during his absence. Major Mozzicato presented the Investigations Bureau report for August 2019. She advised that to-date in 2019, there have been 103 homicides, compared to 93 at this time last year. There were 50 non-fatal shootings in August 2019, compared to 49 in August 2018. To-date in 2019, there have been 366 living shooting victims identified, compared to 310 at this time last year. There have been 17 living shooting victims identified so far in September 2019. There were 36 drive by shootings in August 2019, compared to 45 in August 2018. There have been 302 drive by shootings year-to-date. There were 234 firearms recovered in August 2019. There have been 1,617 firearms recovered Department-wide, year-to-date.
Administration Bureau. Major Michael Hicks spoke for Deputy Chief Laningham during her absence. Major Hicks presented the Regional Criminalistics Division monthly statistics for September 2019. He advised that total Lab backlog continues to decrease.
Major Hicks presented the Human Resources Personnel Summary dated September 5, 2019. For this time period, Department strength is 1,309 sworn law enforcement and 567 career civilians. There are 68 members attending the Academy.
Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Karl Oakman spoke about various community events that occurred over the last month throughout the Patrol Divisions. He advised that the KCPD Explorers Program will host an open house event at South Patrol Division on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Explorers Program is open to youth ages 14-20 years old, who reside in Kansas City, Missouri, interested in careers in law enforcement.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Monthly Offense Report for July 2019. He advised that a majority of all crimes in the City, with the exception of homicides, continue to decrease. Response times across the City show little to no change compared to the statistics from 2018.
Deputy Chief Oakman presented the Traffic Summary for the month of August 2019. There were 14,200 citations issued Department-wide in August 2019. The average number of citations issued per traffic stop in the month of August, by members of the Traffic Enforcement Unit, was 1.43. Interstate 435 at Holmes Road continues to be the City’s highest crash location. Total City-wide crashes to-date 2019 total 14,397 compared to 15,195 at this time last year. The Department’s Parking Control Section issued 5,611 citations in August 2019, and 42,557 to-date 2019. There have been 51 fatality motor vehicle accidents in to-date 2019, compared to 59 at this time last year; 75 percent of fatality crashes are males, and in 53 percent of the fatality crashes, there was no seatbelt used.
Office of General Counsel. General Counsel Jenny Atterbury presented the following Private Officer License appeal: a. Private Officer License Appeal, Mr. Milo Simmons. A memorandum dated August 28, 2019, was presented to recommend the denial of the unarmed private security license of Mr. Milo Simmons. The basis of the denial is outlined in Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050 (3)(G), which stipulates, applicant may be denied a license in s/he has, “been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor in federal or state court,” an Title 17 of the Code of State Regulations, Section 10-2.050 (3)(O), which stipulates, an applicant may be denied if s/he “provides other facts of actions which demonstrate that the applicant is unsuitable or ineligible for license.” Mr. Simmons has a felony conviction for 2nd Degree Robbery on March 1, 1991, in Kansas City, Missouri.
After discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Wagner, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, to uphold the appeal and grant the unarmed security license to Mr. Milo Simmons. The vote was 5-0 in favor.
Office of Community Complaints.The Board congratulated Executive Director Merrell Bennekin on the 50th Anniversary of the Office of Community Complaints. Director Bennekin thanked the Board on behalf of the OCC for the recognition of their 50th Anniversary. He said the Office prides themselves in being the oldest civilian oversight agency in the country.
Director Bennekin introduced OCC’s intern, Ms. Fatima S. Towakoli. He also advised that the National Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement (NACOLE) Conference will be held in Detroit, Michigan, during the week of September 22, 2019. Director Bennekin and Senior Legal Analyst Karen Williams will be in attendance, and will provide the Board with a brief summary of the Conference at the meeting on October 22, 2019.
Audit Committee. Commissioner Wagner advised that there will be an Audit Committee report at the October Board meeting.
Secretary/Attorney David Kenner. Mr. David Kenner advised that the disciplinary hearing of P.O. Tamara Solomon is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, December 3, 2019, beginning at 9:00 a.m. The hearing will take place in the Community Room at Police Headquarters located at 1125 Locust Street, Kansas City.
Mayor Quinton Lucas. Mayor Lucas advised that he traveled to St. Louis, along with a few other jurisdictions, to discuss ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime in Missouri. Mayor Lucas plans to have additional conversations regarding these efforts with these jurisdictions, along with Governor Mike Parson.
Commissioner Mark Tolbert. Commissioner Tolbert asked a question in regard to a profit and loss (P&L) statement. Deputy Chief Francisco advised that the Department does not issue a monthly P&L statement, but rather a quarterly report that shows how various funds are used. There is also a budget summary report provided monthly in the informational section of the Board books.
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.
October 22, 2019, 9:30 a.m., at KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust, Kansas City
November 19, 2019, 9:30 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
A motion was made by Commissioner Shurin, with a second by Commissioner Tolbert, and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 11:56 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, September 10, 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 September 10, 2019:
The Board went into closed session at 12:11 p.m.
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the applications for continued employment of Detective Ernest Baskerville, Police Officer Rita Olson-Stawicki, and Reserve Sergeant Jon Jacobson. 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 Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Wagner, 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 Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
3) Following a motion by Commissioner Wagner and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, 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 Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye, and Commissioner Wagner voted Aye.
4) Following a motion by Commissioner Shurin and a second by Commissioner Tolbert, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed session of the Board of Police Commissioners on July 9, 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.
Commissioner Wagner left the meeting at 1:07 p.m.
5) Following a motion by Commissioner Tolbert and a second by Commissioner Shurin, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor Lucas voted Aye, Commissioner Garrett voted Aye, Commissioner Shurin voted Aye, and Commissioner Tolbert voted Aye.