To conclude #TBT this evening we direct readers toward the conclusions of local old school journalist turned blogger Jim Fitzpatrick who offers his two cents on Chief Smith's 34 year career in law enforcement.
JimmyC has many opinions but there's no denying that he has found some support with his criticism of Kansas City police . . . Here's a sample and his summation of the top cop's tenure . . .
His nearly five years as chief have been a certifiable disaster.
The department’s reputation has slipped badly on his watch
- He has unconditionally supported rogue and reckless officers.
- He has ignored Kansas City’s east side and worsened the divide between the department and the Black community.
- He has refused to cooperate with Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker on internal affairs cases where officers deserved to be scrutinized for possible criminal violations of people’s rights.
On this points . . .
* It's the Chief's prerogative regarding how he manages his department . . . It's important to note that some critics of the Chief argue that he didn't offer much vocal endorsement during a recent trial. Moreover, later in JimmyC's post he conflates KCPD controversy with the George Floyd murder which kind of reveals his "angle" and bias.
* The argument that KCPD has "ignored" the east side is spurious at best. For better and worse, this part of KCMO has garnered more resources and attention from law enforcement than any comparable swath of land. On any given night police and law enforcement are dedicating a great deal of time and energy toward the East side whilst other parts of this cowtown (like the Northland) are left nearly unguarded.
* Cooperation works both ways . . . Moreover, picking sides in the slap fight betwixt police & the prosecutor's office is a losing proposition . . . Our objective bloggy contention is that a 12th & Oak political impasse sparked by GARBAGE partisan culture war talk show & social media politics has coincided with KC's recent delve into historic violence.
Still . . . We invite readers to check out his side of the story and his bonus criticism of other beleaguered local institutions . . .
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .
In a world full of bad news, we have some good news locally: Tomorrow is Police Chief Rick Smith's last day in office. I can't wait to see him in the rear view mirror -- and then not see him ever again. Let's hope he doesn't end up with some cushy job like president of...
Further reading . . .
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith's last day on the job is Friday. He has spent the last 34 years protecting and serving the community. As Smith prepares for retirement, he reflects on his time as Kansas City's top cop in an exclusive interview with KMBC's Lara Moritz.The last five years have not been easy for Smith.
You decide . . .