KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Dozens of faith leaders announced they're launching a new hotline for victims of police sexual violence.
It stems from a lawsuit filed in federal court in Kansas alleging former KCK Police Det. Roger Golubski extorted sexual favors from poor women and coerced them into providing false evidence.
On Wednesday, members of More2, or Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equity, held signs asking for justice.
"We are talking about people of authority, and because of authority, it makes it hard for victims to come forward," Khadijah Hardway said. "I mean, I would be scared myself if I was a victim of authority."
They hope their new hotline -- 913-228-3007 -- will offer a place where survivors can share their stories and be connected to the appropriate services.
In response, the Unified Government released the following statement:
"The Police Department and Chief Zeigler have recently been targeted by the More2 organization alleging abuse or misuse of the U-Visa program, and abuse of citizens by law enforcement.
More2 is demanding Chief Zeigler be terminated, that a bi-lingual hotline be established, and an independent agency be brought in to investigate our agency. Below is our response.
The victimization of citizens alleged by More2, at the hands of law enforcement has never been brought to the attention of the department through any means other than social media and protests. The Department has well established Internal Affairs processes consistent with the 21st Century Report on Policing.
Additionally, we have established consistent and reputable training for our Internal Affairs staff administered by The Center for American and International Law Institute for Law Enforcement Administration.
The Police Department already has an anonymous complaint hotline 913-573-6373, in which all complaints regardless of language will be translated, and the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas has an anonymous ethics hotline 913-621-3294.
Police handled 136,303 calls for service in 2018 with 140 complaints filed with Internal Affairs. That’s only 0.1% of calls which resulted in a complaint being filed against Police. Looking at it another way, only one complaint was filed for every 974 calls.
The current administration is not able to answer for the historical events alleged by More2. It should be noted that Chief Zeigler did work on a team with Roger Golubski in Homicide from 1999-2002; however Chief Zeigler never supervised nor was notified of any unlawful acts or allegations of unlawful acts by Detective Golubski. Roger Golubski retired from the Department in 2010.
The current administration can answer for our current policies, procedures and hiring practices. The police department takes all allegations seriously and we hold ourselves to the highest moral and ethical standards. The Chief initiates Internal Affairs investigations routinely when information comes to his attention and submits those cases to the District Attorney.
Since January 2015, the Internal Affairs Unit has submitted 46 case files to the District Attorney’s office for prosecution. Following a significant increase in U-Visa Applications to the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department in 2014 and 2015, the KCKPD Victim Services Unit, proposed written procedures in 2017 to provide consistent processing and review of the growing number of applications.
The “U Visa Law Enforcement Certification Resource Guide” prepared by the Department of Homeland Security was consulted in developing the Police Department’s procedure. The Guide makes clear that the U-Visa program is a law enforcement tool meant to aid in criminal investigations in an effort to keep our communities safe.
A bilingual victim-witness coordinator in the Police Department assists applicants of the U-Visa program in an effort to encourage accessibility of the program. Federal law does not allow every application to be approved, but the Department’s approval rate is consistent or higher than Department’s in comparable cities.
The Department has initiated several new and successful crime-fighting strategies since Terry Zeigler was appointed Chief. Overall crime in Kansas City, Kansas dropped nearly 11% in 2018 over the previous year.
Incidents of total crimes decreased from 8,810 in 2017 to 7,850 in 2018. Homicides declined by 14.6%, while drive-by shootings showed the sharpest drop at 17.6% from the year before.
The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department is committed to Service, Honor, Integrity, and Professionalism."