Police chiefs in Kansas City talk to journalists about the state of crime and law enforcement in the City. Learn all the details here!
Senior Police Officers Give Opinion on Local Crime
Law enforcement is one of the most complicated and controversial branches of the public justice system — for obvious reasons. This is why every opinion from seasoned police officers on the state of affairs provides valuable insights. And when police chiefs do the talking, their experiences carry even more weight. Recently, that’s just what happened when four police chiefs held an informal Q&A with journalists.
Jan Zimmerman, Raymore Police Chief, talked about how important the perception of the local populace regarding the police is. She stated that public opinion on law enforcement has a substantial impact on crime levels in the area. Other police chiefs strongly agreed with her opinion. Chief Hayden added that perception of safety in any given neighborhood leads to actual safety. And Chief Rick Smith concluded that strong neighborhoods have lower crime stats in general.
As the Q&A was conducted in a recently robbed restaurant, the owner asked the police chiefs how much local safety impacts the successfulness of small businesses? Frank Donchez, Overland Park Police Chief, agreed that there is a correlation between public safety and economic success. He responded by pointing out that law enforcement has a duty to help their areas grow and prosper.
Smith also added that local law enforcement is there to help improve the business dynamics of Kansas City by providing locals with enough safety to grow their businesses. He suggested that the police is there to help those who seek to invest in the city. Lastly, he said that in order for a neighborhood to change, small business investors and law enforcement need to work hand in hand.
Relatedly, all four police chiefs agree that, sadly, the sense of community in their areas is quite lacking compared to a few decades ago and that this is something that both police and locals need to work on. Chief Hayden provided everyone with an obvious example. He mentioned that police officers should stop by local businesses and develop relations with the owners, which would benefit everyone in the long run.
Lastly, Chief Smith added that educating neighborhoods on what they can do to improve their area is equally important. He gave a specific example of a Kansas City neighborhood which was riddled with all kinds of issues. At the start, there was a heavy police presence in the area. But as time went by, the locals became more adept at solving issues on their own. As their communal efforts grew, the police progressively had less and less work to do in the neighborhood. Smith was delighted that the local citizens became smarter and more educated in dealing with local issues. He was adamant about educating the populace as one of the key law enforcement duties.