Last Wednesday, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the formation of another blue ribbon commission deployed to “study” the upward spiraling violent crime rate in Kansas City.
A couple weeks back, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced the formation of another blue ribbon commission deployed to “study” the upward spiraling violent crime rate in Kansas City.
The Dog, freshly un-quarantined, would like to laud the Mayor for taking the violent crime issue seriously. That said, the Dog would like to ask this latest reincarnation of the “let’s have a meetin” bunch a few questions. First, however, we’d like to offer a comparative analysis for the record. Since the mandatory lockdown took effect around March 12, according to the City’s Health Department Director, Dr. Rex Archer, there have been twenty-two deaths from COVID-19.
Over the same time period, there have been, as of Saturday, May 23rd, thirty-six homicides. Looking only at the raw numbers, one could surmise that a person in Kansas City is twice as likely to die as a result of a homicide than to die from the Coronavirus. But we don’t kill the city’s economy for a skyrocketing murder rate.
If the new Public Safety Study Group is going to “study” violent crime, how about taking a close look at the county prosecutor’s office to determine why “catch and release” is employed as a regular practice in Jackson County. Or maybe review why the county prosecutor and her staff won’t use all the federal sentencing tools in their toolbox to send dangerous and career criminals to prison for a long time?
The NewsDog actually penned an award-winning editorial on that subject in 2017 after our office was shot up by someone who had no business, a.) being out of jail and b.) in possession of a firearm. For the record, that individual finally went back to prison after a wild-west style shootout in July of 2019 in the 100 block of North Bellaire Avenue.
Another key issue the new panel might want to take a close look at is why the previous council did not execute a contract on the old Holiday Inn property in Harlem in order to expand jail space? It’s a no-brainer in this Dog’s mind given the city could have had the property for a song. Besides that, it’s secluded to an extent, close to the courthouse, closer anyway than Vernon County, Missouri, one of the county jails the city was contracting with for inmate bed space, and easily upgraded and secured to house an additional two-hundred or so inmates.
Sadly, however, politics prevailed over practicality and public safety and the deal got squashed. It should be noted that Mayor Lucas was part of that council that killed that deal.
Last and certainly not least, address the “snitches get stitches” attitude that prevails in some parts of the city, greatly hindering police investigations of shootings and murders.
This politically savvy News-dog has been around for a minute or two and knows a little something about so-called blue ribbon panels and more “meetin” time. Note to the Mayor and his new “meetin” panel. If you’re not willing to ask the hard questions as noted above, and face the hard answers, then once again, this new blue ribbon panel is just another sound-bite for the cameras and a complete and total waste of time and taxpayer money.