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KCPD heeds call for police reforms

Publish Date 04/21/2021

The Kansas City Missouri Police Department listened to the concerns of the community and has made multiple reforms in policy, procedure, practice and training since the summer of 2020.

The following reforms are now in place:

  • Body Cameras – KCPD secured private funding for body cameras, and as of April 22, 2021, they will be deployed to all patrol officers. The department also has secured a grant to get them for detectives in investigative elements. The Board of Police Commissioners approved the accompanying policy at their March 23 meeting.

  • Independent Investigation of Officer-Involved Shootings – KCPD has turned over the investigation of all officer-involved shooting incidents to the Missouri State Highway Patrol to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.
  • Duty to Intervene Policy– While KCPD’s code of conduct has always stated officers should report improper conduct, the Department updated its policy (Section II, Subsection C) to explicitly state members’ duty to intervene should they witness another member using excessive force. Duty to intervene also has been included in all recruit training.

  • First Amendment Policy – KCPD created a new policy – in consultation with community stakeholders and city leaders – to establish guidelines and procedures for department members when engaging with individuals participating in First Amendment-protected activities.

  • Updated Response to Resistance Policy – The Department updated its Response to Resistance policy (Section III, Subsection A. 5) to be more responsive to community concerns, to include specifically banning chokeholds. Even prior to the explicit policy language update, KCPD did not train on nor authorize chokeholds. 
  • System to Report Inappropriate Behavior – KCPD implemented a new, anonymous complaint process through our Human Resources Division for KCPD members to report colleagues whom they believe have acted inappropriately or could pose a danger to the public.
  • Office of Community Complaints – The Office of Community Complaints launched a new, independent web site to take public complaints online.   

In place prior to 2020

  • De-escalation Training – KCPD’s Police Academy instructors pioneered de-escalation training in 2014 and 2015. It’s incorporated in every aspect of Academy and annual in-service training for all officers, from communication to firearms training. 
  • Ban shooting into moving vehicles – The Department’s policy states, “Generally officers will not shoot at a moving vehicle.”

 The KCPD heard the calls for change from the community and has made substantive reforms in response. The Department’s members will continue to work with stakeholders to ensure KCPD is meeting the needs of the community by providing professional public safety service while building greater trust and deepening relationships with residents.