KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Councilman Eric Bunch is calling for the resignation or firing of Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Chief Rick Smith.
On Tuesday, Bunch said via Twitter that "Smith has done virtually nothing to implement Mayor Lucas’s public safety reform initiatives."
Homicides are at an all time high and officer brutality is common under Smith’s leadership. Enough is enough, Chief Smith should resign or be fired.— Eric Bunch (@EricWBunch) January 12, 2021
Aside from Mayor Lucas, the BOPC continues to show disregard for this citizens of this city by refusing to enact sweeping change.
Bunch specifically cited a delay in KCPD receiving body cameras for its officers as part of a plan Smith announced last June.
41 Action News previously reported the department tested 16 body cameras on its officers and the Board of Police Commissions approved $900,000 in funding for the cameras.
"The city has received multiple grants to purchase body cameras, yet Chief Smith is still 'looking into it,'" Bunch said in a tweet.
KCPD responded to Bunch on Twitter saying, "Body cameras already have been deployed in two patrol divisions, and we hope to have all patrol officers outfitted by spring."
Body cameras already have been deployed in two patrol divisions, and we hope to have all patrol officers outfitted by spring.— kcpolice (@kcpolice) January 12, 2021
In statement to 41 Action News, KCPD Capt. Dave Jackson said, "The councilman's tweet is simply incorrect. Body cameras are currently deployed."
Cameras have been deployed in the Central and Shoal Creek patrol divisions, according to KCPD Sgt. Jake Becchina.
Jackson also said "the chief has no plans to resign."
In 2020, the city saw a record 176 homicides in KCMO. Twenty seven of those happened in the Central Patrol division and were in the Shoal Creek Patrol division.
The East Patrol division saw 77 homicides, and Metro Patrol recorded 41 homicides.
41 Action News also reached out to Bunch for additional comment.