December 16, 2014, Meeting
MINUTES OF THE
BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS MEETING
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2014
A meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners of Kansas City, Missouri was held on Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at KCPD Headquarters, 1125 Locust, Kansas City.
Commissioner Alvin L. Brooks, President
Commissioner Michael C. Rader, Vice President
Commissioner Angela Wasson-Hunt, Treasurer
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr., Member
Mr. David V. Kenner, Secretary/Attorney
Darryl Forté, Chief of Police
This meeting was called to order at 9:09 a.m. by Commissioner Brooks.
The invocation was provided by Pastor Dennis Dewey.
- Awards and commendations.
A Certification of Appreciation was presented to Mr. Rick Worth of Worth Harley-Davidson for his support and sponsorship of local law enforcement fundraising programs. Worth Harley-Davidson has sponsored the CARE Team golf tournament, KCPD competitive softball team, Baconball softball tournament, Guns & Hoses, Shop with a Cop, and have provided equipment for the KCPD motorcycle training course. Additionally, they have sponsored a golf tournament for family members of Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers who have died in the line of duty or from cancer.
Officer Nicole Anderson received the Life Saving Award for saving the life of a three month old, non-breathing baby boy. The baby was breathing completely on his own by the time he arrived at the hospital. The treating physician said the baby would have died within minutes if it had not been for the actions of Officer Anderson.
Detective Margaret McGuire received the Certification of Commendation for her thorough and diligent investigation into a child pornography case involving a Catholic priest. Even though the Clay County Prosecutor filed three counts of possession of child porn against Father Shawn Ratigan, Detective McGuire did not stop her investigation there. She followed up on additional leads she found many more inappropriate photos and many more juvenile victims, 20 total victims. Father Ratigan was eventually charged federally and sentenced to 50 years in federal prison. Additionally, Robert Finn became the first Catholic Bishop ever to be criminally charged in relation to child abuse. Detective McGuire found overwhelming evidence that he was aware of the threat Father Ratigan posed to children, but Finn failed to report it. Detective McGuire has also testified in many civil trials related to this case.
Officer Michael Bowen received the 2014 Aaron Dougherty Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) award for assisting his neighbors who came to him worried about their husband/father who was threatending suicide. The distressed man was threatening to drown himself in the river. Officer Bowen, who was off duty, contacted NPD and asked for police helicopters to respond to the area, as well as a boat from the fire department. Officer Bowen and other officers from neighboring agencies found the distressed man in the river, still alive, and he was rescued from the water.
Medals of Valor were presented to Officer Kevin Colhour and Officer Megan Gates for responding to a disturbance between neighbors over an ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend. The situation escalated and a suspect fired on occupants of a van. Officers ran after the man and he pointed his weapon at officers. Both officers fired, killing the suspect.
The Board took a recess at 9:26 a.m. and the meeting resumed at 9:36 a.m.
- Memorandum of Agreement between the BOPC and the FOP Lodge No. 99 Civilian Unit. Mr. David Kenner advised that the Police Board voted to approve this document at the November 25, 2014 meeting, and today the ceremonial signing of this document took place.
- Councilman John Sharp. Councilman Sharp said that last week the City Council approved the legislative priorities at both the state and federal level. He said he supports legislation to enact a statewide fee or county option fee on cell phones to support the 911 system. He said Missouri is the only state in the nation that does not do this and some rural counties in Missouri have no money for a 911 system.
He said another priority is to repeal or amend the law that was passed which allows motor vehicles 10 years old or more to be sold to the scrap yard with no title. This has caused an explosion of stolen vehicles.
Another priority is legislation to amend state law to allow the police department to join with the city to offer health insurance and other benefits for the employees. As it stands now the law requires three governmental subdivisions to combine the insurance coverage. The police department and the city are interested in combining health insurance coverage, however, it has been difficult to find a third entity to join.
Councilman Sharp said three other legislative priorities include creation of an armed offender docket for Kansas City for the prosecution of cases involving unlawful use of weapons, to support legislation that would designate airport police officers as statutory police officers, and to oppose any efforts that make it illegal for local or state law enforcement officers to cooperate with federal law enforcement officers. Finally, the city will work to seek federal money for disaster responses.
- KCPERS update. Mr. Jim Pyle, Director of the police and civilian employee retirement system, and Major Rick Smith provided the Board with a brief update. Mr. Pyle discussed the actuarial evaluation that was completed on both retirement systems (the 2015 actuarial contribution requirement is approximately $27,000,000 for sworn officers and $5,000,000 for civilian employees). He said state statute requires that KCPERS notifiy the Board of the required contributions to both plans each year and Mr. Pyle previously sent a letter to the Board that contained this information.
Mr. Pyle said that last year the retirement system paid $52.6 million dollars in benefits to members in the police plan. Civilian members in the retirement system were paid nearly $6 million dollars in benefits. He said that the majority of members reside in the Kansas City metropolitan area so this money stays in the community.
Commissioner Brooks asked what percentage of social security is paid in for civilians. Mr. Pyle said the total is 7.65 percent, with 2.45 percent for Medicare, and the remainder goes to social security.
- Legislative update. Mr. Andy Arnold provided the Legislative Activity Report dated December 16, 2014, and he discussed this report.
Mr. Arnold said that recently some legislators had the opportunity to experience the firearms training simulator at the Regional Police Academy. He said this experience was very enlightening for the legislators, helping them to realize what police officers encounter during shooting situations.
Mr. Arnold said he is currently tracking 44 bills and of those, three issues stand out: body cameras (funding and who has access to the videos will be significant issues), special prosecutor/investigations of officer involved shootings (big issues are timing, who appoints, and qualifications), and local fine limitations for the use of speed cameras (perhaps dropping the cap from 30 percent to 10 percent of municipal revenue), red light cameras, and speed traps.
Mr. Arnold discussed two other issues. One is related to the transfer of a suspect on a 24 hour hold. The other is the issue of companies who make “batch requests” for police reports, arrest records, and other information from the police department, then sell this information to third parties who use it to scam those named in these records.
Because of concerns about how to fund body cameras if their use is required by law, Commissioner Brooks asked if the legislators consider what the financial cost will be to police departments. Mr. Arnold said the financial costs are considered by the fiscal review committee. He also said with regard to body cameras the police department would most likely be covered by the Hancock Amendment.
- Approval of minutes.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt with a second by Mayor James to approve the minutes of the November 25, 2014, Board meeting. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
- Executive Services Bureau. Deputy Chief Patty Higgins presented the following items for approval.
a. Budget transfers for FY 2014-15. A memorandum dated December 5, 2014, recommended standard transfers of appropriated funds. This memorandum is marked attachment “A” and is made a part of these minutes.
A motion was made by Mayor James and a second by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt to approve the budget transfers as presented. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
b. COBAN Titan in-car video systems. A memorandum dated December 5, 2014, recommended approval for the sole source purchase of 20 in-car video systems and mobile data systems from Coban Technologies, Inc., at a total cost of $223,795. These systems will replace seven year old equipment.
A motion was made by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt and a second by Commissioner Rader approving the purchase of in-car video equipment from Coban Technologies, Inc., for a total cost of $223,795. The vote 4-0 in favor.
c. Adjustments to special revenue accounts for FY 2014-15. A memorandum dated December 4, 2014, recommended approval of adjustments to special revenue accounts. This reallocation of resources is recommended to purchase bullet resistant vests, uniforms, ammunition, etc. This memorandum is marked attachment “B” and is made a part of these minutes.
A motion was made by Mayor James and a second by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt to approve the adjustments to the special revenue accounts as presented. The vote was 4-0 in favor.
- Professional Development and Research Bureau.
Deputy Chief Randy Hopkins submitted the basic training class summary dated December 9, 2014. He said the current EOC class will graduate in April 2015.
- Investigations Bureau. Deputy Chief Cheryl Rose submitted the Investigation Bureau summary for November 2014.
There have been 72 homicides to-date for 2014, with 97 for the same time period in 2013. She said that in 2014, the city has experienced the lowest number of homicides in nearly 50 years.
She said 2,903 cases were presented to the prosecutor, and 2,246 were filed.
Year-to-date there have been 181 drive-by shootings with 215 for the same period last year.
Deputy Chief Rose said the Regional Criminalistics Division report was placed under her tab in error. In the future this report will fall under the Administration Bureau.
Deputy Chief Rose also submitted the Homicide Analysis for the 3rd quarter of 2014. This report is marked attachment “C” and made a part of these minutes.
Commissioner Wasson-Hunt inquired about the recovery of six pounds of THC laced Rice Krispie treats. Deputy Chief Rose said they were discovered by drug detection dogs and that there has been an increase in the transportation of edibles laced with drugs due to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado.
Commissioner Brooks congratulated Major Joe McHale for his recent promotion and thanked him for his excellent work with KC NoVA. Mayor James discussed a meeting he attended yesterday with the police department and the local media to discuss KC NoVA.
- Human Resources.
Director Nick Nichols presented the personnel summary dated December 5, 2014. Current department strength is 1,395 law enforcement personnel compared to 1,380 for this same time period in 2013. Civilian strength is 578 positions compared to 568 positions for the same time period 2013.
- Administration Bureau. Director Mike Grisgby spoke for Deputy Chief Hundley in his absence. He said as previously noted, the Regional Criminalistics monthly statistics will be reported under the Administration Bureau.
- Patrol Bureau. Deputy Chief Kuehl presented the monthly crime summary dated October 2014. A copy of the Crime Summary is marked as Attachment “D” and is attached to these minutes.
Deputy Chief Kuehl submitted the November 2014 Traffic Summary. There were four traffic fatalities in the month of November 2014, for a total of 41 fatalities for the year compared to 53 for the same time period last year. He noted that seatbelt use appears to have increased. A copy of the Traffic Summary is Attachment “E” and is attached to these minutes.
Deputy Chief Kuehl also submitted the November 2014 Executive Summary which is Attachment “F” and attached to these minutes.
- Major Steve Young.
a. OCC investigations monthly report. Major Steve Young presented the OCC investigations monthly report dated December 6, 2014. There are currently 16 OCC’s under investigation.
- Audit Committee update. Commissioner Wasson-Hunt had no new information to report.
- Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No. 99. Sergeant Brad Lemon said that he now holds the position of FOP representative because Officer Steve Miller is retiring from the police department at the end of the week.
Sgt. Lemon said members of the FOP responded to the St. Louis, Missouri, area to help feed first responders there. He said FOP members from other states also responded to help.
Sgt. Lemon discussed the increasing number of officer deaths and injuries caused by firearms across the country.
He said the FOP submitted a document in support of the hearing officer procedure.
He thanked the Board and the command staff for their work on the contract negotiations.
Commissioner Brooks said he is opposed to the hearing officer procedure. He said that he wants to hear the case, see the demeanor of the officer and witnesses, and have the ability to ask questions during the hearing. Sgt. Lemon said the use of a hearing officer will allow the employee to have a hearing withinin a reasonable amount of time and not have issues “held over their head” month after month.
Mayor James said he does not necessarily agree that the use of a hearing officer will save time because the Board reviews the findings of the hearing officer and can agree or overturn the decision. Mayor James said it is better and more fair to appear before four people as opposed to one.
Commissioner Wasson-Hunt agrees with eliminating the hearing officer procedure. She said the majority of time, the Board disagrees with the decision of the hearing officer.
Commissioner Brooks said if the Board agrees that the hearing officer procedure should be eliminated, then Board Resolution 10-01 should be rescinded.
Mayor James asked Sgt. Lemon if he had any suggestions to help reduce the number of police officers shot. Sgt. Lemon said the “national narrative” has changed with regard to police officers. Social media has contributed to the dissemination of potentially negative information. He said perhaps it is time for police departments to be more assertive about explaining police procedures to help communities understand why the police react they way they do in certain situations. Individuals must understand that police officers have a job to do which is protecting society and enforcing laws. Mayor James agreed that it has to be changed, but not by responding to crisis. He recommended using a proactive approach by building trust and understanding, and that police departments should acknowledge mistakes and accept responsibility for them if mistakes have been made. Sgt. Lemon responded that he had arrested a number of police officers, including for murder.
Commissioner Brooks congratulated Officer Steve Miller on his retirement and thanked him for his work.
- Mr. David Kenner.
a. Board Resolution No. 10-01, hearing procedures. Mr. Kenner said that if the Board is inclined to rescind Board Resolution, he suggested that the matter be turned over to Deputy Chief Hopkins to set out what the new procedures should be going forward. Commissioner Rader said he does not agree with eliminating the hearing officer procedure.
A motion was made by Mayor James and a second by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt to rescind Board Resolution No. 10-01. The votes were 3-1 in favor:
Commissioner Angela Wasson-Hunt – Aye
Commissioner Alvin Brooks – Aye
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr. – Aye
Commissioner Mike Rader – No
Mr. Kenner congratulated Ms. Virginia Murray for receiving the President’s Award for Outstanding Service from the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association.
- Scheduled meetings.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
9:00 a.m., KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
9:00 a.m., KCPD Headquarters, Community Room, 1125 Locust
- Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr. Mayor James said the media day regarding KC NoVA was an extremely good idea to let the community know that there are a lot of good things going on with the reduction of violence. There was a 45 minute discussion with the four local media outlets and a radio station.
He said the states with the most lax gun laws have the highest level of homicides and Missouri has some of the most lax in the country.
- Commissioner Angela Wasson-Hunt. Commissioner Wasson-Hunt wished everyone a happy and safe holiday.
- Commissioner Michael Rader. Commissioner Rader congratulated Officer Steve Miller on his retirement and thanked him for his hard work.
Additionally, he congratulated Virginia Murray for receiving the KCMBA President’s Award. He said this is a very prestigious award in the legal community.
Commissioner Rader said no one can argue that police officers have a very difficult job due to the daily potential to encounter a life and death situation. He said there should be no question that this community and communities across the country are made better and safer by the hard work of the men and women on the police department and he thanked them.
- Commissioner Alvin Brooks. Commissioner Brooks agreed with Commissioner Rader’s comments.
Commissioner Brooks said he also attended the group of legislators who had the opportunity to experience the firearms training simulator at the Regional Police Academy. He encouraged citizens to attend the Citizens Police Academy and to go on ride-alongs with police officers. He said police officers are under great scrutiny today and the community must understand that policing is a very dangerous profession and the Board has an obligation to help the community understand.
Commissioner Brooks thanked all of the officers on the department for their dedication to a very difficult profession.
A motion was made by Mayor James, and seconded by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt and by vote indicated below, to adjourn its open meeting at 10:52 a.m. and reconvene in closed session at 11:04 a.m. as provided in the following resolution. Following a roll call, the vote was 4-0 in favor.
WHEREAS, notice of the board meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners was given on September 2, 2014, 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, December 16, 2014, at KCPD Headquarters, Kansas City, for the purpose of discussing personnel matters, litigation matters, and labor negotiations.
The following Commissioners were present and voted to go into closed session as follows:
Commissioner Alvin L. Brooks – Aye
Commissioner Angela Wasson-Hunt – Aye
Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James, Jr. – Aye
Commissioner Michael Rader – 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 December 16, 2014:
1) Following a motion by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt and a second by Commissioner Rader, the Board voted to approve the minutes of the closed meeting of the Board of Police Commissioners on November 25, 2014. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor James voted aye, Commissioner Rader voted aye, Commissioner Wasson-Hunt voted aye, and Commissioner Brooks voted aye.
2) Following a motion by Commissioner Rader and a second by Commissioner Wasson-Hunt, the Board voted to approve the HIDTA award modification #G14MW0005A. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor James voted aye, Commissioner Rader voted aye, Commissioner Wasson-Hunt voted aye, and Commissioner Brooks voted aye.
3) Following a motion by Mayor James and a second by Commissioner Rader, the Board voted to come out of closed session and adjourn. The vote was 4-0 in favor. Following polling, Mayor James voted aye, Commissioner Rader voted aye, Commissioner Wasson-Hunt voted aye, and Commissioner Brooks voted aye.
Board of Police Commissioners Minutes