Local control of the Kansas City, MO Police Department (KCPD) is again in the news as leaders discuss ways to reduce our city’s tragically high homicide rate. The number of people killed by cars is comparable to those killed by guns, and local control of KCPD could help reduce the lesser known but equally deadly tragedy of #CarViolence.
We support Councilmember Melissa Robinson’s Resolution 190912 to study local control of KCPD. Local control could improve the safety of people who walk, bike, or use transit in several ways:
- Traffic Safety – prioritize the safety of vulnerable road users, especially people who walk or bike, by better enforcing the laws that require automobile drivers to drive within speed limits, stop for people in crosswalks, and pass people on bikes at a safe distance;
- Anti-harassment – enforce the city’s street harassment policy to stop catcalling, intimidation, and threats against people who are walking or biking;
- Data Collection – ensure incidents involving people who walk or bike are consistently and accurately reported, tracked, and monitored; and that problem area hot spots receive additional attention; and
- Vision Zero – ensure law enforcement is an active and engaged partner in future efforts to develop a Vision Zero plan for ending traffic deaths.
The resolution will be before the Finance, Governance, and Public Safety Committee on Wednesday, December 4 at 10:30 am.
Kansas City Missouri remains the only major American city without control of its police department, which answers to a board appointed by the governor – not the Mayor or City Council.