KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Agency: Office of Community Complaints (OCC)
635 Woodland Ave., Suite 2102
Kansas City, MO 64106
Agency Website: http://kcmo.gov/police/office-of-community-complaints/
Type of oversight mechanism: Investigative and Quality Assurance
Oversight of: Kansas City Police Department (KCPD)
Number of sworn police officers: 2,178
Population of City: 464,310 (2012 estimate)
Enabling legislation: Missouri Revised Statute 84.430 (See Attachment 1)
Staff: 8 (Total budgeted staff, 2012 – 2013)
- Executive Director
- Deputy Executive Director
- 3 Senior Legal Analysts
- Community Outreach Liaison
- Office Manager
- 1 Administrative Assistant (to be hired)
(See Attachment 2, Kansas City Police Dept. Civilian Pay List, listing salaries)
- Board of Commissioners (2014-15): $91,003
- OCC (2014-15): $518,046
Scope of Authority/function/jurisdiction of the agency
Under the authority of the Board of Police Commissioners, the Office of Community Complaints is a non-police, civilian oversight agency. The Office has been charged with the responsibility of protecting community members from the possibility of abuse or misconduct on the part of the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. The Office also is entrusted with protecting members of the police department from unjust and unfair accusations. The Office of Community Complaints is committed to effectively and impartially resolving all complaints involving a community member’s guaranteed right to fair and efficient police protection.
Mediation is a voluntary process in which the parties in a dispute (i.e. complainant, police officer) meet with a trained third person that helps them resolve the problem in a way they both can agree with.
The following are qualities of the mediation process:
Voluntary – The Office of Community Complaints (OCC) does not require that the complainant or the police officer(s) participate in the mediation program.
Optional – Mediation is a way to resolve a complaint in lieu of participating in a formal investigation. Mediations can be conducted in a shorter amount of time than it would take to fully investigate a complaint. Complaints that are mediated are not submitted for investigation.
No disciplinary action will be taken against either party – The Office of Community Complaints wants everyone to feel they can speak freely during the mediation process. For this reason, no action, disciplinary or otherwise, is taken against the participants of a formal mediation. This applies to the complainants and the police officers. Hopefully this policy will encourage everyone to be open and candid about the events that led to the complaint.
Confidential – Mediation is confidential. Mediation discussions and all materials developed for mediation are not admissible in any court proceedings, except for a finalized and signed mediated agreement for enforcement purposes.
Controlled – Each party to a mediation has complete decision-making power. Nothing can be imposed on either party without their consent.
Collaborative – The complainant and officer are encouraged to work together to solve their problems and to reach what they consider to be the fairest and most constructive agreement.
Impartial, Neutral, Balanced, and Safe – The mediator has an equal and balanced responsibility to assist each mediating party and cannot favor the interests of any one party over another, nor will the mediator favor a particular result in the mediation. The mediator’s role is to ensure that agreements are reached in a voluntary and informed manner, and not as a result of coercion or intimidation.
Self-Responsible and Satisfying – Based upon participants resolving their own conflict, satisfaction, likelihood of compliance, and self-esteem are elevated through mediation.
The Office of Community Complaints asks complainants and subject officers to explore mediation as a process through which to resolve complaints.
The governor, with the consent of the state Senate, appoints four Kansas City residents to serve on the board. These commissioners serve four-year terms, with one member’s term expiring each year. The fifth member of the board is the mayor of Kansas City. The secretary/attorney of the board is appointed by the commissioners and acts as legal consultant.
In fulfillment of its mission, the Office of Community Complaints has pledged:
- To encourage members of the community to file complaints when they feel they have experienced police misconduct.
- To encourage active participation by all parties in the complaint process.
- To examine carefully each investigative file to ensure that all efforts have been made to resolve the complaint.
- To review all complaints with complete objectivity and impartiality.
- To respect and protect the rights of both the community member and the subject officer.
- To engage in community outreach throughout Kansas City, Mo., to educate the general public concerning the agency’s purpose.
- To report to the Board of Police Commissioners any patterns of misconduct that are uncovered as a result of investigations and complaint review.
- To report to the Board of Police Commissioners any and all relevant issues and policy matters that may arise.
- To proactively identify trends that may need to be addressed by the Regional Police Academy for officer training.
- 2004 audit: https://webfusion.kcmo.org/coldfusionapps/auditor/showrecord.cfm?ID=129
- Office of Community Complaints’ Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Office-of-Community-Complaints/371220499671074?ref=br_tf