Investigation into KCPD Crimes Against Children Section results in discipline, termination of members

Elizabeth Orosco
Northeast News

A three-year internal investigation of the Kansas City Police Department Crimes Against Children Section resulted in the discipline and termination of members of the organization. Police Chief Rick Smith announced Tuesday, Jan. 8 the findings and conclusion of the investigation.

The Crimes Against Children Section is responsible for investigating sexual and physical abuse involving child victims, including child endangerment, child abandonment, parental kidnapping, and interference with child custody.

Chief Smith apologized to those who were impacted most– the children and families.

“I want to apologize to the children and families who did not receive the service they should expect from us. I also want to apologize to the people of Kansas City, who rightfully expect their police department to provide excellent service to vulnerable victims.”

The investigation into the organization began in 2015 when then Police Chief Darryl Forte was informed that cases were not being handled effectively.

In January 2016, members of the Crimes Against Children Section had been suspended with pay. They returned a week later and were assigned other duties. Other veteran detectives were then brought in on special assignment to take over the cases and prepare them for prosecution.

Chief Smith said the investigation revealed issues with the organization as well as among individual commanders, supervisors and detectives.

A total of 149 cases spanning from 2011-2016 have been identified that did not receive the proper attention– or any attention at all.

Massive caseloads were cited as a major concern among the organization. He said one detective was trying to investigate 80 cases a month and another detective inherited 72 cases the day he started in the unit.

“Organizationally, failure reached to the highest levels of this Department,” said Chief Smith. “There were no processes in place within this organization to address the issues of detectives’ caseloads growing too large.”
Chief Smith said the investigation also shed light on personal failures among commanders, supervisors, and detectives.

“Among these were failure to address caseload issues, failure to follow up on some cases in a timely manner, and ultimately failure to submit cases prepared most effectively for prosecution.”

The entire investigation into the Department as a whole, the organizational aspect, personal issues among members, and each individual case resulted in 28 binders of investigative documents.

Chief Smith said the investigation resulted in internal disciplinary measures being recommended against 17 members who were assigned to the Crimes Against Children Section or its chain of command.  These recommendations ranged from disciplinary counseling to termination. Of the 17 members recommended for discipline, seven are no longer employed by the Department. According to state statute, the identities of those members cannot be released.

The Crimes Against Children Section has been renamed to the Juvenile Section, and is now fully staffed. Two detectives have been added, totalling 10 detectives and two sergeants, creating an entirely new staff and chain of command.

Chief Smith said they also are working with Department members to improve case file submissions so they have the greatest possible opportunity for successful prosecution.

Additionally, all Department commanders have also undergone additional leadership and ethics training to enhance accountability and prevent complacency at every level of the organization.

A sergeant and captain must now review caseloads every month with detectives. If a case is marked inactive, a supervisor must review it to determine if the inactive mark was appropriate and a commander must also review the case.

Chief Smith said the Department has also enhanced relationships with child advocacy groups and has a Memoranda of Understanding with the Child Protection Center in Jackson County, the Children’s Advocacy Center serving Clay and Platte counties and the Jackson County Children’s Division.

All families of the 149 cases have been notified of the status of their cases. Chief Smith urges those who still have questions regarding their case to contact the KCPD Juvenile Section at 816-234-5150.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • KCFD, AT&T, MRC and TMC team up to provide free meals to HNE Community

    May 30th, 2020
    by

    Staffers at the Mattie Rhodes Center at 148 North Topping distributed over 300 meals on Friday, May 29, donated by […]


    Mayor works with Hire KC to move internships online

    May 29th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia MontoyaEditorial Assistant For most students, summer break is a chance to get hands-on experience in their field through  […]


    Virtual Museum Day debuts today!

    May 29th, 2020
    by

    Northeast News A consortium of Kansas City museums will be hosting a new, collaborative event called Virtual Museum Day, today,  […]


    New guidelines for re-opening rolled out by Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    During a press conference today from the council chambers on the 26th floor of City Hall, Kansas City Mayor Quinton […]


    Mayor Lucas to Announce Next Steps in Kansas City’s Reopening Plan

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas will hold a press conference today, May 28, at 12:00 p.m. to provide details on the […]


  • Election Board Readies For June 2, 2020 Election

    May 28th, 2020
    by

    The School and Special Election originally scheduled for April 7 has been moved to Tuesday, June 2, 2020. For the […]


    End of school year parade

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Dorri Partain Contributor On Thursday, May 21, teachers and staff at Gladstone Elementary decorated their cars with balloons, streamers, and […]


    Spread awareness, not COVID-19

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Bryan Stalder Contributor City and State Stay Home orders have been lifted, but the city of KCMO has issued a […]


    Northeast News managing editor returns home to Texas

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Northeast News Last week, Northeast News said goodbye to managing editor Elizabeth Orosco. She joined our staff in November 2018, […]


    After nearly 63 years, Joe Vento announces his retirement

    May 27th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant If you’ve ever been to Joe Vento’s Barber Shop, you know that for $9, not […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.