Public Safety | KCUR

Public Safety

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Kansas City's popular entertainment district looked a little different this weekend. 

Westport officials announced Friday that the promised gun screening checkpoints, which the City Council approved in December, would finally be active over Labor Day weekend, from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

After Kansas City councilmembers voted in favor of privatizing sidewalks in Westport in December, new security measures are scheduled to start at the popular entertainment district. 

Starting Friday night, the first night of Labor Day weekend, patrons will have to pass through a metal detector at one of four checkpoints to enter the area, located at the intersections of Westport Road and Mill Street, Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard, Pennsylvania Avenue and Archibald Avenue, and Pennsylvania Avenue and the entrance to a parking garage.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

A proposal aimed at reducing panhandling on city streets has hit a nerve in Kansas City, Missouri, so city officials are taking a step back and plan to rework it. 

On Thursday, more than 70 people packed a room at City Hall to testify both in support and against the measure. Proponents argue panhandling has gotten out of control in their neighborhoods, while opponents say the measure would punish homeless people.  

Pedestrian Life In Kansas City

Aug 23, 2018

With more neighborhoods and municipalities considering 'walkability' as a goal, is the pedestrian experience in Kansas City improving? On this episode, we discuss the obstacles preventing us from having a safe, thriving pedestrian culture in Kansas City.

Kansas City, Kansas, Residents Vote To Renew Public Safety Tax

Aug 7, 2018
Tyler Silvest / Flickr

Updated August 7, 2018 at 9:50 p.m.

Kansas City, Kansas, residents voted to renew a 3/8 cent public safety sales tax — 60 percent voted in support, while 40 percent opposed tax which was set to expire in 2020.

David Alvey, mayor and CEO of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, told KCUR he was thankful to voters "for having confidence in the Unified Government to use the revenue well to take care of basic needs across the county."

Revenue from the tax is divided between the fire department, the police department and neighborhood improvement projects.

Original post continues below:

Warren K. Leffler / United States Library of Congress

Segment 1: Kansas City, Kansas, Public Safety and Neighborhood Infrastructure Sales Tax up for renewal.

A three-eighth-cent sales tax that passed with 70 percent of the vote in 2010 has collected more than $50 million devoted to public safety and neighborhood projects in Wyandotte County. This August, voters there get to decide if the sales tax has been worth the money. The levy is set to expire in 2020 unless it is approved for renewal. Today, we discussed the projects that the tax has benefitted and if it's still the best option for the Unified Government.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Coming off of a weekend where gun violence dominated headlines, Mayor Sly James didn't shy away from the topic at his seventh "State of the City" address Tuesday at Westport's Plexpod.

James touted the city's progress on infrastructure over the past year, including groundbreakings for both the new airport and new convention hotel and plans for a new Buck O'Neil Bridge underway.

Missouri State Highway Patrol

Henry County 911 Emergency Communications said in a statement late Friday afternoon that a database error may have led to Clinton, Missouri, police officers being sent to the wrong address, where one officer died.

Officer Christopher Ryan Morton was shot and killed while responding to a 911 call Tuesday evening at an address on Grandriver Street in Clinton. Two other officers were wounded by James E. Waters, who was later found dead in the house. The cause of his death is still being investigated.

Missouri Department of Public Safety

It’s still unclear what role technology might have played in the "nightmare" scenario that unfolded in Clinton, Missouri, this week, when an officer was killed responding to a disturbance call after 911 dispatchers gave police an incorrect address.

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Police Department could be getting even more money next year than first thought.

While most city department budgets will remain flat next year, KCPD is looking at a $5.6 million, a 2.2 percent boost.

Much of the increase will be used to hire 15 more officers and eight more dispatchers.

The department's 84 dispatchers are all working mandatory 12 hour shifts, according to Deputy Chief Roger Lewis.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

In 2015, Missouri Statehouse interns came forward to report sexual misconduct. It was a pretty big scandal, leading to resignations, restraining orders and a spotlight on the pervasive culture of sexual harassment at the Capitol. Two years later, what has changed?

Then: Las Vegas. Lawrence. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Mass shootings are part of our news cycle. How do you feel about going out to public events and public spaces?

Guests:

The Kansas City Police Department / YouTube

Kansas City Police released surveillance video connected to a recent homicide along the Indian Creek Trail. 

The video, released Tuesday by the KCPD, is timestamped May 18, shortly before 6 a.m., which was around the time bar owner Mike Darby was found dead on the trail. KCPD officials say the person shown walking in the video is not a suspect but "may have vital information" related to Darby's killing.  

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

In an effort to address crime in public parks, the Kansas City Council is proposing implementing park hours and developing a plan to make them safer. 

Recent murders near several Kansas City trails and parks have brought park safety to the forefront of conversations within the council and in neighborhood groups across the city. 

With its short brick buildings and narrow alleyways, Westport is one of the iconic places in town — it's where the city began. But two new proposals have people worried: there's one for a six-story apartment building, and there's also talk of privatizing some Westport streets at night.

What is the character of Westport, and to whom do those streets belong?

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

If you're looking for a public-service job in law enforcement, the Johnson County Sheriff's Office wants to talk to you.

That's according to Sheriff Calvin Hayden, who says his department is a long way from where they need to be staffed — 50 uniformed deputies short, to be exact.

"That's our huge issue right now," he says. "Recruiting is our No. 1 priority for this year."

Hayden, who took office in January, attributed the deficiency to the increased criticism law enforcers are receiving.

First, with more than 5,000 "honor killings" occurring around the world every year, violence against women is a widespread problem with no single solution. Then, we hear both sides of upcoming ballot initiatives that propose a new public safety tax in Johnson County, and a new levy in Kansas City, Missouri, that would fund a light rail network. Finally, the most recent installment of A Fan's Notes.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

On a typical Saturday night in Westport, there are hundreds of people milling around between bars like Harry’s and The Foundry. The crowds are thick between road blockades that contain the area, which isn’t to say anything about the crowds inside the bars. 

There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of drinking, but people say there’s a lot of something else going on.

"Rape culture is a really big problem in Westport," Helen Proctor says.

A report of shots fired at a police car near 55th and Oak streets started a car chase that ended with a wreck on the other side of the state line.

Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department spokesman Darin Snapp says three or four suspects fired at the patrol car shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday.

According to a tweet from Chief Darryl Forte, the police vehicle was disabled by gunfire, though no officers were hurt.

Kansas City Public Schools

What should you do if you're caught in an 'active shooter' situation? That question has received a lot of attention in the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks this month that killed 130 people.

Prominent security officials like New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton have said organizations like his are undergoing a 'very significant change' in how they approach such situations, trying to more actively fight such shooters instead of negotiating. 

Door Smash Measure Moves Ahead

Jun 23, 2010

Kansas City, MO – New and certain renovated homes in Kansas City would have to meet more stringent security codes under a measure given first round approval by a city council committee today.

Intruders would find it harder to kick in a door and security lighting would be required in new homes and rehabbed houses where doors and door frames are replaced.