Monday, October 29, 2018


An important decision announced tonight . . .

Background . . . This was a hard fought decision that took years and involved wrestling control away from a Executive Frank White's office in a lawsuit that cost the Courthouse hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Former KCPD Commander Ortega was an early favorite for the position which is now pending the approval of the Legislature.

Read more:

Prosecutor selects Vince Ortega as new director of Jackson County COMBAT

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on Monday announced that she has selected Vince Ortega as the new director of Jackson County COMBAT.

"Vince Ortega is highly qualified to take on this significant task of directing COMBAT into the future," Baker said.

Baker said Ortega, as deputy director, has already begun to connect COMBAT more with the community, finding new partners in neighborhoods that needed more service to reduce violence and illegal drugs. Ortega used data to identify and analyze crime hot spots in Jackson County. Then he engaged partners, including school districts and apartment complex management, to work in coordination in those neighborhoods.

Ortega, who has served nine years as deputy director of COMBAT, said he wants to expand this approach.

"I've learned a great deal in my nine years at COMBAT that reducing crime takes a real partnership that goes far beyond law enforcement," Ortega said. "Building community involvement in this effort will be a important key to success."

Previously, he served for 30 years in the Kansas City Police Department before he retired in 2006 as Deputy Chief. He also served as Executive Officer to the Chief of Police and the major over the Violent Crimes Division.

Baker thanked community leaders who served on a COMBAT Director Nominating Committee, which conducted this month interviews of candidates. The COMBAT director nominating committee: Legislators Scott Burnett and Alfred Jordan; Legislator-elect Jalen Anderson; former COMBAT director Stacey Daniels-Young; Jim Witteman, COMBAT Commission chair; Kamisha Stanton, Kansas City’s violence program coordinator; and Graciela Couchonnal, vice president of programs at the Healthcare Foundation of Greater-Kansas City.

Baker also thanked David Renz and his staff at the Midwest Center for Non-profit Leadership at UMKC, for facilitating this process of selecting a new COMBAT director.

The nominating committee forwarded three candidates to Baker's office. And Baker interviewed each candidate last week.

Voters first approved the COMBAT program in 1989. They simply wanted to make their streets safer and free of the violence and other problems associated with illegal drugs. Since then, COMBAT's mission was expanded to directly take on violence.

"Our community today needs more than ever for COMBAT to effectively reduce the disastrous impacts of illegal drugs and violence," Baker said. "We must set as a goal making COMBAT an even more valuable community resource."

Developing . . .


Anonymous said...

Having it out of frank's hands was important so that all of the money doesn't go to cronies and the Chevy Colorado.

Anonymous said...

An expensive debate. I guess people really do like baseball in KC.

Anonymous said...

What is Combat's goal, how do they measure whether they have reached that goal, and what are the consequences if they do not?

Just kidding. It's a typical bureaucratic money pit. Goals? We don't need no stinkin' goals!

Anonymous said...

You really are just kidding, because COMBAT's "goals" are pretty much the same as the objectives of every other worthless unaccountable "anti-crime" nonprofit.
Take as much money in from as many sources as possible.
Then spend it all without any results or accountability.
In COMBAT's case, that's around $20 million each and every year.
And please don't imagine for a moment that ANYONE is going to tell the usual suspect grifters whose snouts are in the trough that the gravy train is about to come to an end.
It's really easy to spend other people's money.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully Vince can shape things up. I don't always agree with Jean but she did the right thing here.

Anonymous said...

That's the look of a well-pleased man who's just been given a blank check.

Anonymous said...

^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Wrong. Actually, it's a look of a guy who is now in charge of making sure Frank White doesn't go crazy at the courthouse.

Steve Bishop said...

Vince should have been KCPD Chief instead of Darrel.

Anonymous said...

I hope this guy is serious about his job and I hope we hire about 100 new street cops. None of it will make a difference if we don’t get rid of our worthless prosecutor, Jean Petersucker Baker.

KCJd said...

Do not agree with a lot of the combat expenses but maybe that's because Frank used it to pay his staff. Really hoping the new director can bring some order. That would be a welcomed improvement.

Anonymous said...

We won’t see results because it does not work. When the tax gets close to reelection you will see cops arresting people,boarding up drug house and a parade of 5 or 6 people who it helped. Pure BS.

Anonymous said...

The cartel just infiltrated the COMBAT fund.

Anonymous said...

Well it seams as if "Mean Jean" doesn't have enough to do, so now she gets to pick the Combat director. I guess there is not much crime in Jackson County for her to prosecute. Combat has become just another tax that is wasteful and useless. Put the money toward enforcement and education.