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KCMO councilman calls for KCPD Chief Rick Smith to resign or be fired

Bunch cites lack of action for body cameras
Posted at 11:49 AM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 15:43:49-05

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."

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."

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.