INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — There is a change to the way some police-involved shootings in the Kansas City metro will be investigated moving forward.
The newly formed Eastern Jackson County Police Involved Incident Team, or PIIT, is made up of officers from Lee’s Summit, Independence, Blue Springs, and Grandview.
It will form to investigate any police-involved shootings involving officers in one of the four cities.
Until now, the Missouri State Highway Patrol handled all of the cases. Officers said that averaged about 20 cases a year. The majority of those cases involve the Kansas City Police Department. Investigators say each case can take as long as six months to complete.
Going forward, the patrol will only investigate police shootings involving Kansas City, Missouri, officers.
The police chiefs from Lee’s Summit, Independence, Blue Springs, and Grandview say the shift will help ease the highway patrol’s case load..
When an officer is involved in a use-of-force incident detectives from the other three departments will investigate the shooting as outside investigators to provide answers to provide answers to the community faster that the Highway Patrol would.
“We are not gonna allow them to not conduct a thorough investigation under some pretense that we are covering something up. We’re just not gonna allow that because our reputation as those agencies not involved is at stake and we value that and we do not want to lose that public trust,” Chief Bob Muenz, Blue Springs Police Dept., said.
PIIT’s first case is a shooting that happened early Thursday at an Independence gas station. Officers responded to a shooting near 23rd and Chrysler.
The man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and the officer was not hurt in the incident.
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