Sunday, June 18, 2017

RAYTOWN'S LEADING NEWS SOURCE

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BY GREG WALTERS
Personnel
Policy Review
Late last year the Raytown Board of Aldermen consolidated the Personnel Code for the City of Raytown. The task was long overdue. Raytown’s personnel code was a hodge-podge of different rules for different departments.

The new Personnel Code as approved by the Board was a well-defined set of rules that fit all employees of Raytown City Hall.

At a work session of the Board last Tuesday, a number of representatives of different departments of the city came forward to make suggestions on how to fine-tune the new document. Some of the changes were minor, some were more far reaching. This article will deal with two of the areas of contention brought forth by the Raytown Police Department.

GPS FOR POLICE VEHICLES
New technology has been a blessing for those who work in law enforcement. Which causes us to wonder why the police department has dug its heels in when it comes to using GPS to track police vehicles.

Nationwide there has been a trend to use GPS to monitor police vehicles. The reasons are many. St. Louis is one such city.

St. Louis Chief of Police Dan Isom believe the GPS system will reduce response times, an improved safety factor for officers, and help in the pursuit of felons on the run.

REDUCE RESPONSE TIMES: When a police officer is dispatched to a crime scene, precious minutes are lost determining who is the closest to respond. With GPS tracking, the location of individual police cars can known in a heartbeat.

OFFICER SAFETY: Most Raytown officers patrol alone. If one of them should be injured and unable to use his or her radio, the GPS will show their exact location, expediting the appropriate response.

PURSUIT OF FELONS: High speed chases can more easily be monitored, enhancing a swift conclusion.

ACCOUNTABILITY: How many readers know there have police vehicles involved in car accidents in which children were in the car? Officers who take their vehicles home can be monitored to make certain police equipment is only used for police business. GPS technology can also be used to protect officers against false accusations.

STOLEN POLICE CARS: Yes, it has happened. With GPS monitoring, the car thief will not get too far.

We live in the 21st Century. It is time to put the technology available to our city to work to make Raytown a safer community. The Police Department should drop its obstructionist action against the use of GPS technology in police cars.

VEHICLE TAKE HOME POLICY
If there is an accounting of what vehicles are taken home by city employees is a closely held secret. Usually the argument in favor of such policies has to do with emergency response by emergency personnel.

Fair enough, the Board of Aldermen should ask for a breakdown of the times and incident so they can make a determination of what is the best policy for the City.

We often hear how Raytown is faced with tight budgets. If we take that statement to be true, then the Board should be made aware of what areas could safely be curtailed in expenses.

We live in the 21st Century. It is time to put the technology available to our city to work to make Raytown a safer community. The Police Department should drop its obstructionist action against the use of GPS technology in police cars.

The Board put together a well thought out personnel code. We have reviewed it, and frankly, we see no reason to change any of the policies put into place late last year.

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58 comments:

Anonymous said...

I for one do feel that the police seem to have their own kingdom and they do not want outsiders to know too much about it. The less the outsiders know the more that the dept. can put over or hide from us.

When I look at the pages of requirements that the chief has dreamt up to prevent an outsider from running. There are about 8 pages, it is crazy. No one other than a current member of the force can meet all the standards and requirements.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 9:28 you are correct.
The requirements for police chief may not have been directly authored by police personnel but the fact hat they are so limiting, I think, leads to an inbreeding influence. And what present member of the force that may have the rare qualifications wants to take on their boss?
This is just one of many problems with Raytown that has taken root over the years that will be nearly impossible to cure.

On the other hand.... I have met both the present police chief and the former police chief (now mayor), and both seem like pretty good men. So things could be worse.

Now get ready for the nut case to come out of the wood work, accusing you of being a "tough guy" cop hater who should just go down there and apply if you think you can do it better.

Anonymous said...

Kuddos to Alderman Green who really pushed this a long time ago! Seems to be much needed and Ive heared about that for sometime.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger above, written very well. It is up to the citizens to be well informed and to many of us aren't. The less we know the happier the chief and mayor are.

Anonymous said...

Will the city sponsor a brush clean-up after the weekend storms?

Anonymous said...

I would say that most requirements for that job or set by state and local law. What would you have the city hire or grab just anybody for that job? That's an idiotic statement to make

Anonymous said...

8.37 One correct the present mayor was not the former police chief, he was just a Sgt. with close to 40 years on the job.

Anonymous said...

3"38 I can understand your view from the inside but it is not quite the way you state it. Yes, there are a lot of state laws and I remember once we hired a real loser but the way it is now set up only one man in the Dept. has the qualifications to be chief and I think most of us know who that is.

Jay Martin said...

9:28 - where can I go to find these eight pages of requirements for police chief? I know what the state requires.

Go to http://www.moga.mo.gov/mostatutes/chapters/chapText079.html

City marshal, training requirements, fourth class cities.
79.055. 1. Any person who is elected to his first term as city marshal in a general election or in a special election in any fourth class city of this state shall, within six months of such election, cause to be filed with the city clerk of the city and director of the department of public safety proof that he has completed the training program formulated pursuant to sections 590.170 and 590.175, or some other comparable training program of not less than one hundred twenty hours' instruction approved by the director of the department of public safety. If the newly elected city marshal is unable to complete the training program within six months due to the proper course not being available from the department of public safety, an extension may be granted until such a course is made available.

2. Whether any person elected to his first term as city marshal attends such a training program prior to or after assuming the duties of his office shall be left to the discretion of the governing body of the city from which he was elected. During the time that a marshal-elect is enrolled in such a training program, he shall be hired as a city employee and receive as full compensation from the city from which he was elected, compensation at a rate equal to that of city marshal.

(L. 1997 H.B. 69 & 179 & H.B. 669 § 2)

Anonymous said...

I see a lot of cities in our area are opening up drop sites for storm debris. The city council meets tonight. I wonder if they will follow the lead of others and do the right thing by helping out people in need by creating a place where storm debris from trees can be taken for the public? They could use the old super splash parking lot as a dump site. It has only one entrance and would be a perfect place for people to get rid of storm debris. Another good site would be the old sewer lagoon in the south part of the city. It has acres of wooded area. Tree limbs could be left there to decompose naturally.

Anonymous said...

What happens if nobody wants to run for the job of Marshal? We going to hire one from Liberty?

Anonymous said...

I would like to urge everyone if you can't make it to the BOA meeting tonight watch it on television

Anonymous said...

Comments about the Kingdom of the Raytown Police are spot on accurate. The city council neeeds to stand strong together to remind everyone who is in charge at city hall.

Anonymous said...

don't know about storm clean up. I checked the agenda of tonight's meeting but there was not anything on it about storm cleanup. But there were about ten items that looked like they were designed to take the teeth out of the personnel ordinance. I guess we will see what is most important to the board tonight.

Anonymous said...

The public meeting tonight was an excellent display of just how incompetent this current board is at conducting business. Good grief! The bickering and outbursts were laughable.

Anonymous said...

The BOA meeting was a total mess tonight. The mayor who wants everyone to think that he is large and in charge let the meeting get hijacked by Alderman Mims. He looked large alright but not in charge. He had a deer in the headlight look. Alderman Hunt has not a clue as to what is going on. He has never uttered a word. He campaigned how to get the police department in line and has done nothing. I my opinion he is a total waste of a seat. Jason Green does not use his head. Why would you send an unfinished document to be looked at by MPR? This cost the city money. Finish it then send it .Black doesn't know what is going on half the time and she will vote how Green votes. Aziere well that man is just out there and thinks he knows it all the same for Moore. Would love to know how much the police statistician makes for playing around. We all know there is crime and it is on the up swing. Even I know that and I could tell you where the increase is. It would just be nice to see police in the street.

Anonymous said...

Between the Ward 2 alderman who talked about the conflict between the city and fire department my money is on Jason Green. Give him a couple of drinks and he becomes a real motor mouth besides he likes to hear himself talk.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the words of the last comment, it would appear the police did not get much of their agenda passed by the boa last night. Good for the Board! Even better for Raytown! I wonder what the police statistician makes a year as well. Here is a thought, the next time they receive a complaint about too much noise at a party, why not investigate it? They may be able to stop something bad going down before it happens.

I hope you guys give a full report of what all the voting was about last night. You are our only hope -- you know it will not be in the Raytown Times.

Anonymous said...

6:18 AM

Did you even watch the whole meeting or just watch and not listen? The personnel code IS finished, they were just discussing points to be amended. Councilman Green made an excellent point, why discuss and entertain things that could be passed into policy which would have legal implications WITHOUT an attorney going over those potential amendments? Get a clue!

Anonymous said...

6:18

Wasn't it stated last night that for MPR to look at it that it didnt cost additional money, oh wait it was. Dont see the problem with them looking at it.

Anonymous said...

Just finished watching the video of last nights meeting even though I managed to skip some. I'm happy with the council addressing nepotism as this seems to be long overdue. Councilman Teeman made some great points as well as Greene. It is my observation without saying names that some up there just speak to speak as if to feel some importance and some who dont speak were the most vocal during election season. I couldnt agree more with how the meeting was carried over. If you are voting on changes to an existing policy without having look over what your voting on that is just ignorant. Someone made a comment above expressing that you should vote on it then have attornies look at it. Thats a recipe for a lawsuit especially when it comes to personnel. Im glad that individual isnt a councilman. As for other comments from above overall this board looks like their heart is in a good place addressing serious concerns that have been ignored for years. I imagine it will look ugly sometimes but someone has to do it and address department consistancy which was not handled before. Takes a lot of courage to stand up to some of the problems at city hall so my hats off to them.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a personal attack 6:52 is probably the paperman, Creamer or Aziere. I guess his "motor-mouth" got the best you making comments like that. I'll take his sincereness and honesty over the Bower-Sharma climate at city hall anyday.

Anonymous said...

I understand we have a police force who will enforce the rules (laws) on us, but don't want the rules enforce on them as written in the employee handbook.

Does this mean we can go before the judge and decide what should be enforce upon us - NO

Which means the officers and management within the police department that don't like what is in the employee handbook need to either grow up or find employment some other place.

This Old Catholic said...

I am shocked at the hate Randy allows his friend Bob Philips to print in his paper.

Bob's comments against Muslims reminds me of the hate against my own religion.

For those that are not Catholic you might not know the hate and unjust clams spread against us during the 1960 Presidential elation. Mostly by good old groups of people claiming to be Christians.

However, we were hunted down in the 1920s by the Klan, because they didn't approve of our religion and stand by it was their calling as Christians.

The last time I checked the Catholic church is the oldest Christian religion and all other religions clamming to be Christian split from it.

Claiming being the correct term when none of them include Bob Phillips recall the following Bible verses:

Mark 12:30-31

30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’[a] 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] There is no commandment greater than these.”

Maybe when folks like Bob Phillips get right with God they world will be a peaceful place to live, but until that time I fear the actions of people like Bob Phillips.

Anonymous said...

I saw the vid, props to Greene, Teeman, Steve NOT Ryan Meyers for asking great questions and getting stuff done!

Anonymous said...

Old Catholic,

You bring up interesting facts about the ugly history of those who clam to be "Christian"

You might also remind them of John 8:7

Anonymous said...

It is a sad to see the Kansas City Water Department fix a water main break ( a small break) " in the inner city" with in a week, faster than the City of Raytown/Raytown Water company on 59th street when we have only 11 square miles to cover. Come on mayor, let's get something done with the break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

If someone has an issue with the police dept, GET INVOLVED and educate yourself. The Raytown Citizen's Police Academy is coming up in a few months.

I encourage anyone who has wondered about how the police do things to enroll. Classes are held at the Raytown library on Wed nights. This is a FREE program. Watch for the city newsletter for more info about signing up.

If the police dept is a "kingdom" why do they have VOLUNTEERS helping to plan the Safety Fair, Coffee with a Cop, Citizen's Academy, etc. The volunteers are citizens just like you who want to bring the police and the community closer together.

Anonymous said...


What I cannot understand is the sloppy work being done on 59th Street. I drive in Kansas City and Raytown all day long. When I come across a steel plate in Kansas City it is neatly placed on the hole it is covering. it is recessed into the ground so you do not have a 1" + hit by your cars tires when you drive over it. it is then sealed with asphalt around the edges. Go look at the one on 59th Stsreet in Raytown. It looks like someone threw it at the hole and missed. It is not recessed in to keep the street ride smooth. It has loose gravel around the edges of it that literally gets spread every where but where it belongs to protect motorists vehicles.

Why can't they do it right in Raytown like they do in Kansas City?

Anonymous said...

While these Police community outreach PR programs mentioned by writer 7:46 AM are common in most communities, it does not peel back or reveal the layers of top heavy cop brass that many feel is a good old boy network just raking in citizen's tax dollars.

Anonymous said...

The employee handbook was approved in Dec. of 2016 that said police cars were to have gps installed, has that been done or is it as always the chief does what he wants when he wants? Greg please find out and let us know. We the citizens are expected to obey the laws I fell the chief should too.

Jim Williams said...

7:46

They won't get involved. They'd rather sit at home and gripe on here and on Facebook about how bad things are. It's just like the woman that showed up at the city council meeting Tuesday complaining about super splash closing. She's the same one who went to the tv station and gave channel 9 all the misinformation. She complains that her lifeguard friends can't get jobs where they feel important. It's rare for a teenage to be important in anything, except maybe in their own minds. If they want a job, go to Taco Bell, Apple Market, McDonalds or Hy-Vee. All these places are hiring. It is not the city's responsibility to provide them with a "fun job".

Anonymous said...

Call Raytown Water Company
It's their mess

Anonymous said...

Big difference. KC water is run by the city, Raytown water is run by company.

Anonymous said...

My information is the police cars have gps on them and have for a considerable length of time, even before the handbook

Anonymous said...

Oh yes. The police do have gps on their cars. The change they wanted was to turn the gps off at their discretion. My guess is when they are off duty and taking the city police cars home with them at night. Of course, those cars are fueld by the city's gasoline. Now I wonder. Why would they want to turn off the gps at any time?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:46 am

Have you ever dealt with Neil Cleavenger at Raytown Water Co.? He will smile to your face when you have a problem with his water co and pretend like he cares and doesn't do a damn thing to fix your problem. The city will have to put pressure on him to fix the mess on 59th st. Oh, wait, the city put pressure on Neil? Why would the city do that when the city and Neil are in "bed" with each other. We, the city, will inherit this mess with his aging water line infrastructure, you just wait and see.

Anonymous said...

How about we put gps on all city vehicles, so breaks could be monitored.

Anonymous said...

To the blogger above here is your answer They want to use the care whenever and for whatever they want. they don't want to be accountable to anyone for anything. It is time to change this and make them accountable. I have always heard how bad Chief Beeler was now I am beginning to believe Chief Lynch is just bad.

Anonymous said...

Well all you people on this blogger that think they know everything about the GPS and how to run a professional police department need to show some proof that your big mouths know what you're talking about. Not sure why anybody would want to come here and protect such vile nasty hateful people

Anonymous said...

9:01 Well you sure sound like a cop or a retired one sorry that your feelings are upset but we all know that given a chance corruption does happen. Look at the US postal worker just arrested in KC for stealing greeting cards from the mail and they usually contain money. Do not get your bowels in such an uproar.

KMCCLA said...

The Raytown Amateur Radio Club will be holding Field Day behind Raytown City Hall. Starting Saturday June 24 to Sunday June 25, 1:00 PM - 1:00 PM. Come out and see what Amateur Radio does for the community.

Anonymous said...

Nope just a citizen tired of stupid games

Anonymous said...

Yep

Anonymous said...

So all these cops taking cars home I would say the majority don't live in Raytown so by taking a car home it helps them in buying another car to get back and forth to work. Use your head people its not rocket science just do some thinking and connect the dots.

Anonymous said...

So from what I have gathered from an Alderman, only the police that are on call for various things like emergency preparedness, swat, or top rank that respond to emergency situations with command vehicles take home cars. Just like ALL police departments nationwide the I researched. Cut response time to critical situations and possibly saves lives. Hmmmm, makes some sense to me since that's the business they are in.
Oh wait, hardly any of our top city staff live in Raytown either. This little burg is only 10 square miles folks

Anonymous said...

You gathered that from and Aldeman. How about just getting the real facts from the police department? Certaintly they must know who is driving cars home! As for the fairy tale about improved emergency responses, i would buy into if they lived in Raytown. It even makes sense An expanded police presence would be a good thing. But I don't think officers living north of the river, or, on the east side of Independence or Lee's Summit really have much of a quick response time.

Seriously, why not find out how many are going home with cars. Then find out how far away they live. THEN find out how many times they have actuaully responded to an emergency from their home.

I think that would carry more weight than what you gathered from an Alderman. For goodness sake, what if the one alderman were jim aziere?

Anonymous said...

Oh wait, hardly any of our top city staff live in Raytown either. This little burg is only 10 square miles folks

And yet one of the primary requirements of a candidate for police chief is that they are resident of Raytown. I think for a year before the election.

Makes for a tiny pool of potential candidates.

Anonymous said...

From an Alderman??? Bull Butter!!! If one of the take home unmarked vehicles is full of kids coming from the out of town water park, they aren't headed to an emergency response at that point are they. If the PD feels they are justified in having support staff take these vehicles home why are they fighting GPS installed??

Anonymous said...

After looking at the crime that is all around us, and already here in Raytown, I want the police to have any advantage they need. I'd take Raytown PD response time over KC response time, every time.

Anonymous said...

Um, is anyone talking about the extremely racist comments made by Raytown Times writer Bob Phillips? What does an elderly white man that lives in in the Ozarks know about inner city youth and the challenges they must overcome to be successful? And muslims, his comments are horrible. As long as he is a speaker for the Raytown community, through the paper, our community cannot overcome the racism. How do we remove him from the paper?

Anonymous said...

To bad we are stuck with almost 4 more years of Jim Lynch and his horrible skills of trying to lead the RPD.

Anonymous said...

7:53 You are right, there is no chance of an outsider running for police chief along with a list of other requirements that are out of this world.

But the salary keeps going up.

Anonymous said...

That last comment is just plain silly. If someone has to drive from say, Greenwood, Missouri to respond to a crime in Raytown, do you really think it will be a timely response time?!?

Anonymous said...

Good Points here about the higher up officers in the RTPD taking vehicles home, especially, when they live outside the city. And by the way aren't these mostly the desk jockey types that hardly ever do any "responding"? I suppose we are buying the gas too.

Hey Aldermen... please look into this waste of our tax payer money.

Anonymous said...

So the voters decided to have an elected Chief long ago and somehow that is a problem now ???

Anonymous said...

Yes 3:45 it may be time to revisit having an appointed Chief/ Employee vs Elected. Your point of it being a long time decision is probably the exact talking point that it may have outlived it's shelf life.

Anonymous said...

Can't "revisit" that, it was never even busted, this damn town has no charter. With a charter you can do things like that. We had a chance to have one but too many keyboard warriors not actual people involved to get that through.