September 20, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – This week in the Historic Northeast, the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department has set up a Strategic Uniform Response Group Effort (SURGE) designed to affect crime and quality of life issues for area residents.
The multi-day SURGE operation began on Monday, September 19, with a covert prostitution sting that resulted in 15 arrests. Because the operation focuses on quality of life issues as well as enforcement, the department partnered with the Justice Project of Kansas City to provide vital social services to those apprehended during the sting.
“Our main goal is not necessarily about arrests,” said KCPD Captain Ryan Mills. “If we can get them to the next stage, then that’s a win for us.”
To oversee the rest of the operation, KCPD has set up a Command Post across from Independence Boulevard Christian Church (IBCC) at the intersection of Independence and Gladstone. As part of the SURGE efforts, all East Patrol officers will respond to the Northeast area when not on a call for service. Sgt. Andy Uptegrove is acting as the Operations Sergeant during the operation, which will combine the efforts of East Zone personnel, Communications, Detention, LERC, CODES, and VICE.
“Within our target area, we came up with a list of parties that are wanted. These vary between felony warrants and city warrants,” said Uptegrove. ” The way we amassed these is that we went by and ran the warrants for the target area, and then we ran some of our houses where we have a lot of calls for service. If anybody had any warrants at those houses, then we’ll make some contacts there.”
The SURGE efforts will also focus on codes issues, trash issues, yards that are extremely overgrown, street lights and street signs that are broken or missing, trees that need trimming, and vacant homes that need to be re-boarded, among other quality of life concerns.
Additionally, officers will conduct home visits for individuals who are on probation or parole, check in with area businesses within the target zone. Furthermore, KCPD has partnered with the City of Kansas City, Missouri to provide a trash truck for the target zone, with the goal of cleaning up as many problem properties as possible.
“In the end, we’re trying to do a little bit of both,” said Uptegrove. “We’re trying to do some enforcement, and we’re also trying to affect quality of life for people in the area. If you clean up some of the trash issues, it will help out with some of our crime issues. A lot of times, people associate areas that are unkempt as places that they can commit crimes.”
Check back in with the Northeast News later this week for an update on SURGE efforts in the Northeast.