August 24, 2016
The war on cops continues, but this time that war is coming from within and straight from the top echelons of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department. Chief Forte’s decision to do away with CIOs department wide is the wrong decision for a city that is already seeing violent crime surge in the urban core, a murder rate that’s at its highest in seven years and officer morale at an all-time low.
Doing away with the CIO position will only serve to place additional burdens on already overworked district officers and sergeants who are running call to call as it is with zero time for proactive policing, a key component to the CIO’s job that often calls for bringing in additional resources and agencies to assist in problem-solving efforts. Fact: Sergeants are already responding to calls for service at a rate 65% higher than ever before. This dog would like to be a fly on the wall when a community leader drops a problem in a commander’s lap then gets told by said commander that it will have to wait until they get back because they’re starting their 3-day weekend. How will this decision make Kansas City’s urban core safer? Answer: it won’t.
With black-out times at an all time high, the chances of having a Shoal Creek officer respond to a crime at 8th and Monroe is highly likely. This critically thinking news-dog would like to know: how is that officer supposed to build a relationship with the community? With response times on priority 3 and 4 calls sometimes running six to eight hours, that Shoal Creek or North Zone officer responding to 8th and Monroe doesn’t have the luxury of time at his disposal. Not with eight or nine calls still in his cue. Fact: when it’s everybody’s responsibility to engage the community, it’s nobody’s responsibility to engage the community.
If this Chief truly wanted community engagement he would have come to the community first, instead of asking Commanders to send out letters to key neighborhood organizations after the fact. The only reason we’re addressing this now is because an astute neighborhood leader intercepted an email string from NEAT that had the news of the decision buried deep within its contents.
It’s high time for the Department’s social experimentation to end and get back to basic policing that actually works. It’s time to dissolve the ridiculous NOVA experiment, an agency with little or no accountability, mind you, and roll those 80 or so commissioned officers back out in the field to address staffing shortages generated from the budget shortfall. Note to the Chief: you can’t take the community interaction out of policing and still try to call whatever is leftover community policing.