Lucas proposes changes to KCPD in closed session of police commissioners meeting

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas is working to make big changes in the police department.

Many of his plans were announced Tuesday at the Board of Police Commissioners meeting.

All of the mayor’s proposals were discussed in closed session so the public wasn’t able to listen or comment. However, in September the mayor says the meeting will be open, and the public can be heard.

Lucas proposed making sure an officer is required to intervene in excessive force, protections for whistleblowers within the department, making reviews of police complaints more independent, and requiring meetings be open to the public with social distancing measures.

“Every officer I’ve ever talked to wants to make sure that every situation is handled as safely as possible for the suspect, for themselves, for the community, and I think this is one further step,” Lucas said.

Gwen Grant, the CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, said officers should never use excessive force, and the idea a measure needs to be put in place to force is a sad state of affairs.

“The very fact that a police officer has to have a policy to tell him or her that if they witness a fellow officer breaking the law, applying excessive force to a civilian under any circumstances is really unconscionable to me,” Grant said.

She pointed to the cases of Breona Hill and a 15-year-old boy who’s teeth were smashed that to her show more needs to be done. Both cases resulted in criminal charges against officers.

Lucas said change can’t happen immediately, but he hopes it’s on the way.

“I think we have an outstanding police department. I’ve said that a number of times. I think this can only make it stronger,” Lucas said.

The proposals will need to be discussed with the Fraternal Order of Police. FOX4 reached out, but they did not want to make a comment at this time.

The public Board of Police Commissioners Meeting will be held at City Hall, and it will be the first time the public is welcome since the beginning of the pandemic.

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