His father’s influence, working on military aircraft and serving as a sheriff’s reserve officer, soaked right into Jason Asper.
“From a very young age, I was watching police movies and police crime dramas on TV,” Asper said. “My dad engrained it early on. By the time I got in high school in the '80s, the crack epidemic was there with the gang violence. I’d watch it on the news and thought I could do something.”
Asper grew up in Wichita, Kan., and would visit Kansas City on vacation, but he didn’t know much about KCPD when he started applying for police officer positions. Coincidentally, his in-laws were relocating to Kansas City when Asper received a job offer from KCPD.
“Everything I knew about KCPD was over the phone,” Asper recalled. I had gone to Worlds of Fun and Royals games, so I knew the city, but not much about the department at the time.”
Almost three decades later, Asper is now the Major at North Patrol Division, achieving one of his goals. He landed there after performing numerous assignments – ranging from community officer to policy development – at a high level. One of his proudest accomplishments is helping to build the Law Enforcement Resource Center (LERC) as a sergeant.
LERC hosts KCPD’s crime and intelligence analysts who might identify a homicide victim using a scar or jumpstart an investigation using someone’s nickname. Highly skilled, LERC’s members often solve crimes for outside agencies through information-sharing.
“I got the opportunity to hire, train, and develop a lot of our professional staff which are analysts,” Asper explained. “Supporting the Homicide Unit hundreds of times, the highway shooter case. That stands out.”
Asper previously served North Patrol as a captain. As a major, he accepts the responsibility of leading a division, knowing he’ll be held accountable. One priority for him is the use of Risk Terrain Modeling (RTM) which uses data to identify the physical characteristics of an area that may make it more prone to crime.
“I know I’ve been given a tremendous responsibility to ensure the men and women of this police department and North Patrol Division work with the community to reduce crime and make a safe city,” Asper pointed out. “I see it as an honor and responsibility to make the two work together.”
Asper, by the way, has also been leading the way with one of the biggest events ever to come to Kansas City – the NFL Draft. Serving as a Captain in the Traffic Unit, Asper has been deep in planning to ensure everyone’s safety. For now, he can only say there are anticipated street closures prior to the event.
Beginning the police academy in 1994, Asper has been with KCPD for 28 ½ years. Though, the last few years have been challenging, he is still excited and inspired to police. His father, who passed away in 2020, remains an inspiration.
“I always think about my dad,” Asper said. “He’s watching, and I want to keep doing well because he was very supportive of law enforcement. I just haven’t lost the fire yet. Some people get to the end of their careers, and they lose a little fire. I haven’t lost it yet. I really enjoy it, and I’m proud to be a police officer.”