According to a recent release, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced today that the Kansas City Police Department has been awarded a $3,675,522 million grant by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of Attorney General William Barr’s Operation Relentless Pursuit initiative. The DOJ grant will fund 18 additional Kansas City police officers who will work with federal agencies to investigate and prosecute suspects involved in gangs, drug trafficking, and other violent crime-related issues.
“Since taking office nine months ago, I’ve met with Justice Department leaders in both Kansas City and Washington to request federal assistance with crime-prevention efforts,” said Mayor Lucas. “I am pleased today to announce a substantial Operation Relentless Pursuit grant for our Police Department. This nearly $3.7 million grant will fund 18 additional police officers to fight violent crime in Kansas City.”
Mayor Lucas today also announced his appointments to the city’s Public Safety Study Group, which was established as a directive from the City Council earlier this year.
“Two more Kansas Citians lost their lives to gun violence last night, surpassing the horrific number of murders by this point in 2019,” said Mayor Lucas. “Sixty-four Kansas Citians this year have lost their lives to violent crime. We cannot become complacent to this violence that’s plagued our community for far too long.”
“We’ve had task forces before, but this group is different,” continued Mayor Lucas. “Not only do these members combine decades of law enforcement, prosecutorial and public sector experience, they also know the impact of crime in our communities. Some have lost loved ones to crime, others have family who put their lives on the line every day, and all know the devastating impact our murder epidemic has on our community.”
“Mr. Corwin served as a member of the Kansas City Police Department for 32 years, including seven years as Police Chief,” continued Mayor Lucas. “Mr. Bustamante has served in the Jackson County prosecutor’s office since 2014. Ms. Johnson is an attorney with Seyferth, Blumenthal & Harris and a former Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor, and has remained active in her crime-prevention work as a sitting member of the Jackson County COMBAT Commission. I appreciate Councilwomen Loar and Robinson’s willingness in representing the City Council as members of this group. This City Council is committed to curbing violent crime in Kansas City and is anxious to review and implement this Group’s recommendations this year.”
Public Safety Study Group:
- Jim Corwin, former Kansas City Police Department Police Chief, Chair
- Melesa Johnson, Attorney, Seyferth, Blumenthal & Harris
- Jared Bustamante, Assistant Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney
- Councilwoman Teresa Loar, Second District At-Large
- Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, Third District
As directed by the City Council, the Public Safety Study Group shall produce and present a report to the Council no later than September 30 including, at minimum:
- Recommendations for improving the effectiveness of current gun violence prevention efforts in Kansas City, including those overseen by the police department and those overseen by other city agencies, and
- An assessment of the benefits and drawbacks of local control of the Kansas City Police Department.