This community-minded News Dog normally likes to steer clear of neighborhood politics and operations. As a former neighborhood association president, it was never appreciated when someone hijacked the process from outside the organization.
That said, when a neighborhood association “Board of Directors” releases a two-page, bullet-pointed, cop-hating manifesto seeking to sever ties between their neighborhood and the police department, that’s where this community partnership-minded News Pooch draws the line.
The single-spaced screed released by the Indian Mound Neighborhood Association Board of Directors last week claims to speak for “well over 10,000 residents” and being one of the “largest neighborhood associations in the city.” This Dog isn’t going to argue size here, but will simply ask how many of those 10,000 residents did the four-person, Indian Mound Board check with before deciding by fiat to speak for them? Additionally, how many dues paying members did the board consult before sending out this hate laced letter? Was there any attempt to, in an open forum, discuss the bullet pointed demands with neighborhood residents and the police department?
We can answer all three questions: None. None. Nope.
Legality aside, this was a back-room power grab that potentially violated every rule of transparency in operations and best practice in terms of operating a not-for-profit organization.
In attempting to make their point, the Board specifically throws under the bus a police officer who thought he saw an intruder inside his house and legally discharged his weapon inside his residence toward the would-be intruder. That officer, it was learned later, was actually suffering from severe work fatigue as well as a documented mental illness many combat veterans suffer after returning from a long, stressful deployment.
That officer was offered all the resources available at the time by the department, including counseling services, but chose to leave the department voluntarily after a nineteen year exemplary career with the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD). Simply put, the Indian Mound Board members used the mental breakdown of a top flight law enforcement officer in order to make their hate-filled point. Think about that for just one minute. The Indian Mound Board, in writing, chastised and belittled a brave first responder who suffered a mental breakdown in the service of his city in order to make a point.
How disgusting and reprehensible do you have to be to do this? And, oh — I forgot to mention that this individual didn’t even LIVE in the Indian Mound boundaries when this happened.
In over 30 years of community relationship building, this News Dog knows a thing or two about Community Partnerships. As a former president of the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood, the partnership we developed with the police department through the Northeast CAN Center netted positive results across the board in terms of lower crime and a better quality of life for residents. That KCPD/Scarritt Renaissance partnership still exists today, some 28 years later, and serves as a model across the city for police/community relations.
Former Indian Mound Neighborhood Association President Lee Ann Miller, God rest her soul, worked tirelessly to develop positive relationships with the police department, and now, with this release, almost 25 years of community partnership with the Indian Mound neighborhood is swirling down the drain. I’m confident that Lee Ann would be extremely upset at the gross incompetence, personal agendas, and lack of transparency displayed by the IMNA Board.
The Board took a page straight out of the Trump school of logic on COVID testing, in that if we don’t talk about crime, there won’t BE as much crime.
Let us know how that works out for ya.