Candidate for prosecutor seeks to “bridge the divide” between PD and community

Candidate for Jackson County Prosecutor Tracey Chappell (Photo by Abby Hoover)

Blue Springs City Prosecutor Tracey Chappell spoke on the steps of the Kansas City Police Department Headquarters on Thursday, July 9, on actions she would take as Jackson County prosecutor if elected in November.

“As your next Jackson County prosecutor, it is my job to build bridges of trust between the police department and the community in which I serve,” Chappell said.

Jackson County is in a crisis because the community does not trust the police, and that hinders the police from solving and preventing crimes, Chappell said.

The prosecutor’s office is also in a crisis, Chappell said, citing the office acting when it shouldn’t and taking action when it should not, as well as improper communication between the police department and the prosecutor’s office.

Chappell accused the prosecutor’s office of misinforming the community in cases such as that of Cameron Lamb, Donnie Sanders and others. Chappell said the prosecutor’s office did not file charges against the officers involved in these shootings because the department had not provided probable cause statements.

“I want you to know, and I want to clear this up once and for all, the prosecutor can file their own probable cause statement,” Chappell said. “So no more can we as a community, can those who are in the capacity of a police department, allow a prosecutor to pass her job duties to the police department to simply say ‘Hey, it’s their fault.'”

Chappell said the “good” police officers she has spoken to want the “bad” officers to be held accountable for their actions.

“There is a new law and order that’s coming,” Chappell said. “That new law and order is saying that everyone must be accountable for their actions, including the prosecutor’s office… Violence will not be disregarded.”

Chappell is running for Jackson County prosecutor against incumbent Jean Peters Baker, who has held the position since 2011. Profiles for both candidates will be featured in the Northeast News next week, highlighting major goals and issues.

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