KCPD officer fed up with rising crime, walks to Jefferson City to meet governor

Posted at 6:25 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-17 10:09:47-04

Kansas City, Missouri Police Officer Kelly Sapp will do anything to make a statement, even if that statement is walking 128 miles to the Missouri capital to demand a meeting with Gov. Eric Greitens.

"He's a military guy. This is what we would do in the military when we wanted to make a statement,” said the military veteran and KCPD officer. "A new chief will be picked here soon. We got a new board of police commissioners. And right now the governor is the one to talk to if we want to get some change done at that level."

Sapp, who also served in Iraq and Afghanistan, is also a 21-year veteran of KCPD. But he said he’s desperate for change and will do anything to stop the rise in violent crime after witnessing the recent violence in Kansas City.




“The lack of respect for life is the worst I've ever seen it,” he said. "Just the other night we had a young man get shot while he was sitting in his car seat."

Kansas City’s crime rate is on pace to break the 18-year high in homicides set last year (130), with already 42 homicides reported by KCPD so far in 2017.

Even children aren’t immune to the crime. Several have been shot, including three-year-old Marcus Haislip III, who was killed in crossfire from a triple shooting just last week.


"I've never seen so many of our youngsters getting wounded, getting killed,” said Sapp.

In fact, it was a child who inspired Sapp to make the journey to Jefferson City. Six-year-old Nasir, a Kansas City boy who Sapp mentors, asked him for a flashlight last week.

"So he could clear his house at night when he heard noises. So he could protect his mom and his brothers. Because he was afraid someone would kick in the door or someone had snuck in and they were going to try and kill him or his brothers,” said Sapp.

“He was mentoring me instead of me mentoring him. And he broke my heart,” he said.

Sapp is hoping that these stories, along with the hard numbers, and possibly, his 46-hour walk serving as some inspiration, will help the governor move to action regarding Kansas City’s violent crime.

The veteran also said he hopes change is on the horizon for not just the people of Kansas City, such as Nasir, but also for his fellow officers, whom he feels are outnumbered and under-staffed, saying that the ‘thin blue line’ is as thin as he’s ever seen.

"They've got a long road ahead of them. And right now we've got less officer's than I've ever seen on the streets,” he said.

When asked what he hopes to hear from Governor Greitens upon his arrival, Sapp simply said, “I hope he says, ‘have a seat.’”