Monday, April 29, 2019
TKC EXCLUSIVE!!! DR. ERNEST EVANS EXAMINES CRIME THREAT CONFRONTING 2019 KANSAS CITY ELECTION!!!
Dr. Ernest Evans is one of the leading local experts in the study of crime trends. He has published several articles, earned TV coverage and given countless presentations on the topic.
As the KCMO general election quickly approaches, Dr. Evans has blessed our TKC Blog Community with his insight into the local crime problem backed up by solid research and data.
Here's a preview of the takeaway which needs to be shared loud & clear:
KANSAS CITY MUST SUPPORT POLICE AMID WORSENING CULTURE WAR POLITICS TARGETING LAW ENFORCEMENT!!!
Dr. Evans explains his position brilliantly and with lots of important stats & facts and his words are a MUST READ for any informed Kansas City voter, candidate or current elected official. Checkit:
Dr. Ernest Evans: The Crime Issue in the 2019 Elections in Kansas City, Missouri
On April 4, 1968 Dr, Martin Luther Kind was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. In response to his murder, riots broke out in a number of American cities, including Kansas City, Missouri. By the time that the riot was over six people had died.
In the aftermath of the riot, the city's mayor, "Ike" Davis, established a commission to study the riot and make recommendations as to how to prevent another such riot. The commission made a number of recommendations--one of which was that the KCPD be expanded from 1,000 sworn officers to 1.500 sworn officers.
KCMO's population has declined since 1968--but not by much.
We now have 488,000 people on KCMO--compared to 507,000 in 1968. However, the KCPD today is not even close to 1,500 officers--at the end of calendar year 2012 there were 1282 officers on the force--down from 1427 at the end of calendar year 2013.
KXMO is not alone in having its local police force well below its proper strength. Virtually every city in the country is now experiencing a shortage of officers on its local police force. And, the reason is not hard to find: The Ferguson, Missouri tragedy of August 9, 2014 in which a black teenager was shot and killed by a white cop.
The rights and wrongs of the Ferguson case have been hotly debated in the nearly five years since this tragedy, but what is unmistakably clear is that this case led to a wave of criticism of the nation's police forces over their use of deadly force against the nation's black citizens. This wave of criticism led to many cops leaving their jobs, and sharply cut down on the number of young people applying to police academies.
This shortage of cops on the beat has fueled a national crime surge in the aftermath of Ferguson. From 1994 to 2014 homicides in the US declined virtually every year. Then, in 2015 homicides went up 5.2%, and in 2016 they went up 6.2%.
KCMO has also seen an increase in homicides: As of today there have been 44 homicides in KCMO in 2019, compared to 42 at this point in 2018, 37 at this point in 2017, 32 at this point in 2016, and 26 at this point in 2015. In calendar year 2018 homicides did decline from 151 in 2017 to 137 in 2018--but these figures were much higher than the 82 homicides recorded in 2014.
Now, I stress that I am not calling for some sort of "Dirty Harry" of "Judge Dredd" approach to fighting crime where cops on the beat are judge, jury and executioner. We humans are very fallible and can be easily corrupted, and there is nothing more corrupting than having life and death power over another human being.
No, what our new Mayor and new members of the City Council need to do is "square the circle." Specifically, they must make sure that police officers in KCMO are held accountable for misconduct, but also make sure that officers accused of misconduct get fair media coverage and due process. It is un-PC to say this, but it is a painful reality: The price of getting people to join and stay on on police forces in democratic societies is to guarantee then due process and fair media coverage when they are accused of misconduct.
In conclusion, KCMO does have a quite serious crime problem right now. However, cities like Washington, DC and New York City also had serious crime problems in the early 100-'s and they were able to get crime under control--so there is no reason why KCMO cannot do so as well.
You decide . . .