Some Type of Reform Needs to Happen at KCPD
The inner core of Kansas City will never compete with the suburbs, or truly "take off" until city leaders deal with crime issues, and the perception of crime.
For example, as I've said several times in other posts here, there are no police officers apparent on the streets of downtown. Many area residents and visitors continue to have the idea that downtown is unsafe still (which I don't share). One contributing factor that supports that belief stems from the fact that one never sees police walking the streets. Even parking cops drive around instead of walking.
It's ironic that Police Headquarters is located downtown, and police squad cars are always parked along E. 12th St., yet one never physically sees police officers in the downtown area walking the streets. They need to physically present to be effective and to counter public perceptions (that many in the suburbs especially have) that downtown remains unsafe.
At night, one is more likely to see private security patrols around downtown than actual police. It appears that downtown property owners have to hire their own security because they can't count on the police department to do their job.
Putting police back on the streets--instead of riding around in squad cars--actually works. Crime plummeted in Manhattan to its lowest level in 30 years after NYPD put cops back on the streets walking a beat.
In addition to Kansas City, I've lived in two major cities--one on the east coast, and one in the west. I can say that I see fewer police officers in Kansas City than either of those other cities.
Perhaps if tax dollars that were levied for police and fire protection were actually spent on those efforts, instead of being diverted to TIF projects, then the city would have adequate policing of its streets.
The earlier post that indicated the response of the cops when questioned why they took so long to respond indicates bad training among police officers. They should have never uttered those words. That's bad public relations.
Because a citizen who's willing to give a statement questions police response time, which they have the right to do, should not result in an officer making that remark and indicating that they would walk away and not take the report. That is unacceptable. The proper thing to do in that situation is to take the name and badge number of that officer, or license plate of his squad car, and report it to his superiors and also send a report to your district council member, and the mayor's office.
One should also not have to argue with the 911 operator about whether officers should be dispatched to address a public disturbance in a parking lot. Whether that woman was being physically assaulted or not shouldn't have mattered, because it was a public disturbance that could very well have turned into an assault. How can a 911 operator assess that situation and make such a judgement over the phone?
I see to recall the police shooting and killing a blind man (brandishing a knife)--who didn't speak English--recently because he was creating a scene and not responding to police's efforts to calm him. He was not assaulting anyone at the time, yet the police asserted that they had the perception that they were in imminent danger. If actual police officers had such difficulty assessing a situation correctly, then how could a 911 operator decide that the man shouting at that woman in a parking lot in Midtown was not capable of assault?
After all, the police are they to protect "and to serve" the public. If they have that type of attitude about their job, they should be doing something else.
Perhaps it's time to start pointing these things out to the mayor and council members.
One could argue that the appeal of recent "conceal and carry" gun permit legislation in Missouri would not be so popular if residents actually felt the police departments were effective. When gunfire is breaking out in the Chubby's parking lot in Midtown, it's easy to see why some residents feel the need to carry guns with them.