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FOP president says new KCMO mayor promises to add to KCPD force

Posted at 5:53 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 19:43:52-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City's new mayor has promised the Fraternal Order of Police to add to KCPD's ranks.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said he's angry about the murder of 8-year-old Brian Bartlett on Saturday.

The boy's home was riddled with bullets while he was sleeping.

His mom was also injured.

Brian's murder is the 89th homicide in Kansas City this year.

It puts the city at roughly the same number of homicides as this same time last year.

According to FBI crime data the 41 Action News Investigators first reported last fall, Kansas City has one of the worst murder rates in the country based on its population.

Tackling the difficult issue is a top priority for Mayor Lucas.

He said Brian Bartlett's murder has made him especially angry and motivated.

"This is an abomination and something that Kansas City should not tolerate," Mayor Lucas said.

FBI crime data for the first half of 2018 shows there's been a decrease in violent crime across the country compared to the first half of 2017.

But the most recent full year numbers show Kansas City ranks 5th nationally at nearly 31 homicides per 100,000 people in 2017.

Only St. Louis, Baltimore, Detroit and New Orleans had a higher rate.

"My view is you're a felon, if you're somebody who's using drugs, if you're somebody who has no business with a gun, we need to make sure we're seizing the guns from them and in many cases, getting those folks off the street," Lucas said.

For the last several years, FOP President Brad Lemon has called for an increase in Kansas City Police Officers.

Data the 41 Action News Investigators obtained shows in 2013, there were 1,427 sworn officers.

But by 2017, that number had dropped to 1,282.

As of now, with a new recruiting class, that number is 1,340.

Lemon says Mayor Lucas has committed to increasing that number.

"We need to make sure we find people who do things like this, make sure they're facing justice very soon," Lucas said about Brian Bartlett's killer.

As of Monday, throughout all of Metro Kansas City, there have been 129 homicides so far in 2019.

Seven of those victims, including Brian Bartlett, are children under 16 years old.

To find out more information about the homicides, visit the 41 Action News homicide tracker.