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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

St. Pat's: Should cops get "pro-active"?

KC police should get more aggressive in checking IDs of the "obviously criminal element", says Pete Maher, publisher of Midwest Irish Focus, a small monthly magazine:

  • It's only common sense that if it becomes known in the criminal community that cops at the parade will be spot-checking ID's for outstanding warrants then many of the hooligans who have caused so much trouble might opt to go somewhere else for their fun and games.
  • It isn't brain surgery to understand that a more aggressive stance by the uniforms along the parade route would discourage the terrorists who attend only to victimize the families along Grand Boulevard every March 17th. The policy these days seems to be to simply wait for trouble to begin and then alert The Kansas City Star how "bad" the situation has become.
  • Pete's e-mail to me

Police spokesman Capt. Rich Lockhart responds:

  • The police had the same staffing as the 2005 parade, which, as most will remember, was free from the disturbances of this parade.  If the issue of the parade is framed appropriately, there were a small number of people who were victims of a small number of incidents.  That is not to minimize what happened to any of the people who were victims of crimes; what happened to them is unacceptable and the police will work to bring those responsible to justice.
  • What Mr. Maher is suggesting is that the police should be more proactive in confronting the “obviously criminal element” at the parade.  How do the police decide who is part of the “obvious criminal element?”  To confront people we need to have reasonable suspicion to believe a crime is taking place or about to take place.  We are not permitted to stop people without a reason.  Just because someone looks like they are part of a “criminal element” does not give us a reason to stop and question someone.
  • Full response

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