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

 

 

 

Elizabeth Orosco

Northeast News

 

KANSAS CITY – 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.

“We look forward to showing you with our actions that the people of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department are now, more than ever, dedicated to serve and protect the people of our city with professionalism, honor and integrity,” said Chief Smith.

To read his full statement, click here.

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.

  • Mask mandate extended indefinitely

    5 hours ago
    by

    Mayor Lucas extended the mandate requiring masks in Kansas City.


    Shooting Investigation Continues

    22 hours ago
    by

    An early morning shooting at the corner of Van Brunt Boulevard andScarritt Avenues in the Indian Mound neighborhood today has […]


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

    July 9th, 2020
    by

    Tracey Chappell, running against Jean Peters Baker for Jackson County Prosecutor, spoke on the steps of KCPD Headquarters on Thursday.


    Botched robbery of local frozen treat street vendor leads to shooting

    July 9th, 2020
    by

    A well-known local frozen treat vendor was shot Wednesday evening at approximately 7:45pm in a botched robbery attempt according to […]


    White House sends federal agents to KC amid homicide spike

    July 9th, 2020
    by

    Federal agents will be in Kansas City within the next 10 days to fight a surge in violent crime.


  • A day with the city’s graffiti removal team

    July 8th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant Graffiti is everywhere: on highways, in parks and buildings. Every day Kansas City’s graffiti removal […]


    KC Museum seeks pieces of history

    July 8th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Kansas City Museum is collecting items representing this moment in the city’s history as protests […]


    Revived Don Bosco Community Center nears completion

    July 8th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The Don Bosco Centers are nearing completion on the renovation of their original community center in […]


    Absentee voting options expanded for upcoming elections

    July 8th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor Kansas Citians will have the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in the Aug. 4 […]


    KCPD Chief Rick Smith offers update on condition of injured officer

    July 3rd, 2020
    by

    Kansas City Police Department Chief Rick Smith addressed the media Friday afternoon regarding the condition of the officer who was […]


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