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KCPD chief opposes officers assisting with KC Pet Project warrants, mayor disagrees

Chief Rick Smith sent letter to JaxCo judges
KC Pet Project Animal Services Division Feb 2022
Posted at 2:42 PM, Feb 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-22 15:42:04-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department Chief Rick Smith penned a letter to officials opposing KCPD officers in assisting with search warrants that the Kansas City Pet Project conducts.

On Feb. 8, Smith sent the letter to Kansas City Municipal Court Judges Todd Wilcher and Archie Bland, and said KCPD would not be assisting KC Pet Project in conducting them.

"I am notifying you that until the concerns of safety and authority are resolved and in the interest of safety for everyone, KCPD will not initiate, execute, or provide assistance in the execution of any such search warrants," Smith said in the letter.

However, KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas responded saying officers are required by local state law to assist in such warrants.

Lucas sent a letter of his own to the KCMO Board of Police of Commissioners.

According to Lucas, Smith's letter violated Chapter 14 of the Municipal Code of Ordinances.

Chapter 14 states that "it shall be the duty of the police department to enforce the provisions of this chapter, and assist the supervisor of animal health and public safety in enforcing the provisions of this chapter."

"Since 1967, the Code of Ordinances has mandated the cooperation of the Kansas City Police Department in execution of the animal control operations and legal compliance with City rules to avoid harm to animals—and often persons at residences found to be in violation of the City’s animal control rules," Lucas said in the letter to the BOPC.

Lucas said he understands the concerns of Smith but hopes the BOPC will work with the department to address them rather than stop executing the search warrants.