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How An Independent Civilian Oversight Office Handles Complaints Against Kansas City Police

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Julie Denesha
KCUR 89.3
In the wake of George Floyd protests on the Plaza, citizen oversight of the Kansas City Police Department has come into question. Police Chief Rick Smith is shown here in conversation with a protester on June 3.

One controversy involving the Kansas City Police Department has to do with oversight from the Office of Community Complaints. Critics say the office rarely rules against law enforcement, and are raising questions about how effective and fair it is.

The independent oversight agency that handles grievances against the Kansas City Police Department is often criticized. We found out how they operate.

When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
As senior producer of Up To Date, I want our listeners to hear familiar and new voices that shine light on the issues and challenges facing the myriad communities KCUR serves, and to expose our audiences to the wonderful and the creative in the Kansas City area. Just as important to me is an obligation to mentor the next generation of producers to ensure that the important conversations continue. Reach me at alexanderdk@kcur.org.
The Kansas City region has long been a place where different ways of life collide. I tell the stories of people living and working where race, culture and ethnicity intersect. I examine racial equity and disparity, highlight the area's ethnic groups and communities of color, and invite all of Kansas City to explore meaningful ways to bond with and embrace cultures different from their own. Email me at luke@kcur.org.