NewsLocal News

Actions

Community group advocates for KCKPD cold case unit

New chief, Karl Oakman, says it's in the works
KCKPD
Posted at 1:39 PM, Jun 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-22 14:39:00-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Community members in Kansas City, Kansas, want the city's police department to create a cold case unit.

They are part of “Justice for Wyandotte,” a group of KCK residents concerned about “an epidemic of fear, violence and intergenerational trauma” in their community.

In a petition on change.org, the group alleges KCKPD puts too much of the responsibility in solving cold cases back on the community.

Justice for Wyandotte also cites procedural issues with cold cases in KCKPD, saying their classification as “under investigation” is misleading since there is no designated unit, and prevents victims’ families from obtaining case information.

The group is demanding a “well-supported” cold case unit by January 1, 2022.

Data from the Murder Accountability Project cited in the group's petition shows KCKPD has at least 367 unsolved homicides between 1965 and 2019 — a number that is likely higher due to gaps in Uniform Crime Report data.

41 Action News reached out to KCKPD for its response to the demands.

Newly sworn Chief Karl Oakman said he proposed such a unit during the selection process for his position.

Oakman said he is evaluating staff levels and hopes to launch a cold case unit some time in 2022, when he has the staff to do so.

Justice for Wyandotte held a rally Wednesday about their unit demands.