Don't listen to KC's self-serving 'top cops'
The Kansas City Star
Three former Kansas City police chiefs who benefited from state control of the Police Department say they want to keep that system.
Gosh, what surprise.
The “top cops” who appeared at a recent forum to discuss police issues included ex-chiefs Jim Corwin, Floyd Bartch and Rick Easley.
All three chiefs got to report to a governor-appointed police board that - far more likely than not - rubberstamped everything the chief brought to the group.
Granted, some police boards were a bit tougher than others. Susan Boley was a great, questioning member many years ago. I like how the current board has been more engaged than others in the past.
Still, I support local control of the Police Department which means - yes - local politicians will become involved at some point.
You know, just like politicians in Jefferson City - in the governor’s office and in the state legislature - are involved right now.
I’d rather have the local officials appoint the police board, if we’re going to have one with local control.
There’s absolutely no compelling reason for Kansas City to be the only major U.S. city with a state-run police department (after St. Louis gets local control in mid-2013).
Corwin, Bartch and Easley all implied that having local political control would cause all kinds of problems for the Police Department, as has occurred at various other departments.
I do agree on that much: Problems could occur.
Then again, every single one of the best police departments in the nation is locally run.
I would think these chiefs plus other supporters of the Kansas City Police Department would be able to rise to the challenge and run a great shop downtown if and when local control comes around.
Let’s hope the new commission that Mayor Sly James appointed earlier this month will reach the same conclusion, suggest a change to the Missouri General Assembly and the legislature in 2014 will finally give Kansas Citians local control of their police force.