With homicides spiking in Kansas City, Jackson County Sheriff unexpectedly offers to help KCPD
Jackson County Sheriff Darryl Forte' told county legislators Monday he is providing patrol and investigative help to the Kansas City Police Department. KCPD welcomes the support.
Homicides are up 16% in Kansas City and with the city poised to set a new record for killings, the Jackson County Sheriff says he can help.
"Most of the homicides that occur in Kansas City happen in eastern Kansas City," Sheriff Darryl Forte' told the Jackson County Legislature in an appearance before the body on Monday. "So we don't want that creeping over in our area."
In a statement to KCUR, Chief Stacy Graves reacted positively to the unexpected news.
"Sheriff Forte' has provided deputy resources for patrol and shared information to assist in homicide investigations," Graves said. "KCPD and JACO (Jackson County) are working together in neighborhoods most affected by violent crime."
Forte' spent much of his career in the KCPD, retiring as chief in 2011. He eventually was elected county sheriff. He still often shows up on his motorcycle to homicides in the East Patrol Division, something Forte' began while police chief.
"I have responded to 30-plus homicide scenes so far this year and have been encouraged by residents to continue to do so," he told KCUR. Forte' said he is not diverting resources from other parts of the county to assist KCPD.
Kansas City police and the Jackson County sheriff don't have a history of working closely together, but Forte' said he wants to change the command structure in his office so he can provide more help to KCPD.
"I believe others within the sheriff’s office will have an opportunity to build and nurture long-term relationships within KCPD and other segments of the community," he said.