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January 23, 2008

Police recruitment

As a law enforcement officer with 34 years of service in New Hampshire and South Florida, I was offended and amazed to hear Mayor Mark Funkhouser’s ideas to improve minority police recruitment include ignoring felonies and drug violations of those “16, 17, 21” (1/18, Local, “Mayor’s plan for minority recruitment”). The mayor passed this off as stupid youthful behavior.

I teach police background investigation around the country. I personally know the dedication and work ethic of the Kansas City Police Department’s background investigation unit, and I am sure they are equally concerned and offended by the mayor’s attitude.

The mayor and political leaders around the country are losing sight of a critical goal in the hiring of our police officers. Police officers are held to a higher standard, and true professional officers accept that responsibility.

Mr. Mayor, hire the most qualified candidates who have demonstrated acceptable law-abiding behavior regardless of race.

History has given us many examples of wakes that were caused by hiring youthful felons and drug users. Ever hear of the “Miami River Cops”?

Charles Hemp
Kansas City

Because the Kansas City Police Department can’t recruit enough “qualified” minority applicants, Mayor Funkhouser says the city should consider lowering the requirements and standards for those seeking to enter the police academy.

How would you feel if medical schools started accepting minority students with poorer grades and questionable background checks just to fill the seats?

Would you feel safe knowing the pilot at the wheel of your commercial jet barely passed their take off and landing class, and got into flight school because the airline started accepting less adequate applicants?

Race shouldn’t be a factor if you want to become a police officer. What does matter is that you have the smarts, physical qualifications and proper, ethical background necessary to make the grade.

Kansas City shouldn’t “dumb down” the hiring process simply because not enough qualified minorities are making the cut.

Police officers take on a serious job. They carry a gun and make life and death decisions.

The 1984 comedy movie “Police Academy” was about selecting a bunch of misfits and making them police officers. Let’s keep these less competent jesters in blue on Comedy Central and not patrolling the streets of Kansas City.

Nick Sacco



"A law is either Constitutional or not, nothing in between."

How is restricting felons from possessing firearms unconstitutional? Perhaps you could explain your position at greater length, rather than just froth at the mouth about it.

Are laws forbidding firearms from being taken into banks or federal buildings unconstitutional?

Is a restriction on owning a bazooka unconstitutional? How about a howitzer? A pipe bomb?

You state "The 2nd Amend. is UNALIENABLE."

Where is "unalienable" or "inalienable" found in the Constitution? The concept of such rights is mentioned in the Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights. . ."

In that context, it seems that Jefferson was talking about concepts such as basic equality and freedom, not the unfettered right to carry a .45 wherever one sees fit. Surely you'll admit that it seems a bit odd, theologically, to claim that "the Creator" endowed us with the right to pack heat.

If you want to make the argument that Second Amendment rights are inalienable, go ahead. But you have to actually make the argument, not just shout "it's unalienable." Simply stating so does not make it so.


Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala has said that with increased enforcement, $50 billion in back child support can be collected. (Wall Street Journal, March 2, 1995). Yet in that same article they take a hard look at the figures and come to a much different conclusion. In the governments Annual Child Support Report of 1992 the figures were at $10.9 billion owed in court ordered child support; of that, $6 billion had been paid. That left less that $5 billion owed! Of the $5 billion owed 30% of those owing are in jail and as many as 1/3 of the prisoners in county jail are in for non payment of child support. Many of the other "dead beat fathers" are addicts, alcoholics, disabled, mentally incapacitated, unemployed (or underemployed), or otherwise unable to pay court ordered child support.

However the largest number of those that owe back child support simply do not exist. In 1992 the General Accounting Office (GAO) found 14% of fathers who owe back child support are dead. In a 1991 Census Bureau study found 1/2 or all fathers received no visitation order. When fathers receive visitation almost 80% pay all court ordered child support. When they receive joint custody the figure jumps to 90%. Yet joint custody is awarded in only about 10% of all divorce cases. According to 2 independent studies 40% to 50% of all mothers interfere or block meaningful access to the children. "Given this documented connection between father's access to his children and the payment of child support, why does Washington seem intent on punishing the father? What about the mother who creates a climate encouraging non-compliance?" (Wall Street Journal March 2, 1995)
The Clinton Administration has since backed off on Donna Shalala's figures.


Exactly Interface, expungement in KS does not restore your ight to bear arms. A law is either Constitutional or not, nothing in between. Maybe they should start using credit scores as a means to "determine' who can own a gun to protect their property.
Anyone that is against he Constitution is a socialist commie and should be shot.


Obviously you are against the Constitution and what is protects. I guess these so called deadbeats should also not be fighting to ptrotect your rights.
Define taking care of your children? Is it providing or paying?
Giving money to a CPs that are bad with budgeting and finance would seem negligent.
A court can not determine nor dictate financial or personal things that happen in life. The difference is that CPs receive FREE legal help no questions asked, NCPs have to hire a lawyer or damn near quit their jobs to deal with ridiculous court proceedings over things as simple as taking a pay cut or having unforeseen medical bills. Bottomline is you are a debtors prison endorser which makes you a traitor and a socialist.


Kansas statutes on expungement include the following paragraph regarding felons,
expungement and firearms:

"...the expungement of a felony conviction does not relieve an individual of complying with any state or federal law relating to the user of posession of firearms by persons convicted of a felony."



I don't think people who have a problem with a court order to take care of their children should be allowed to carry firearms. They are obviously ireesponsible.

An opinion from a 2nd amendment rights supporter who would never make his kids a part of an obtuse opinion.


Interface, the 9th Circuit is wrong. The point being that someone that has a ridiculous felony, like child support arrearage for example, losing their UNALIENABLE right? This does not warrant losing the right to bear arms. ONLY violent or sexual predators should have this right revoked. I know you are one that believes just becuase politicians pass a law, it is valid. I do stand corrected, I shold have been more directed, in Missouri and Kansas you can not have the "right" reimposed with expungement. There are svereal State that allow expungement provided the crim is not one that disallows.


"Restriction of the right of convicted felons to possess firearms is a legitimate exercise of police power rationally related to governmental interest in securing public safety." [Huss, 7 F.3d 1444, (9th Cir. 1993)].


"Even with an expungemnt you can not own a firearm (unconstitutional) nor have ammunition on person."

Check out this link and let me know if you still think you're correct:



Expongement does not hide the felony from obtaining a job in law enforcement or the government. Even with an expungemnt you can not own a firearm (unconstitutional) nor have ammunition on person.


The 2nd Amend. is UNALIENABLE.
No where does it state that this right can bet taken away.
If someone commits a crime with a weapon I could understand it but other than that, no way it is uncosntitutional.


I think we all agree it was kind of a stupid suggestion.


Like I said, I don't see how it would result in a slew of potential KCPD recruits.


Fake CRD, the Mayor said “16, 17, 21.” While 16 and 17-year-olds are juveniles, 18, 19, 20 and 21-year-olds are not. There is a fairly high drop-out ratio in most police academy classes anyway, so the cost of the legal wrangling that would have to occur to get around the Federal law would not seem to be worth it.


Also, crimes commited as a minor might not disqualify -- though I don't really know. Found this:

"I have to disagree with these folks. Juvenile adjudications are NOT "convictions". They are civil in nature, and do not count as a conviction. I tell juvenile offenders every day that they can truthfully complete future job applications by saying NO, they have not ever been "convicted" of a felony. The only juveniles who WOULD be considered "convicted" would be those tried as adults.

In nine years with my department, I have never seen any reference to the Federal Firearms Act applying to juveniles, and as a department, we have to advise EVERY convicted adult felon of that Act and that they can never own a firearm.
1 month ago
I'm a Deputy Probation Officer, Juvenile Division"



It's theoretically possible -- you could have your record expunged or be pardoned. However, I don't see how that would result in a slew of potential KCPD recruits.


my dear friend kate,

That is an excellent question and an issue seemingly impossible to get around.


Does the Mayor plan to use these new hires solely in administrative positions, or will the felons be allowed to carry firearms, in violation of Federal law?


Eng I agree about the normalizing pet peeve, it's one of mine as well. Think about this for a second. We have legislation that is actually drafted, passed and becomes law that is gender biased against men. The same applies to generalizinf all felonies being equal, you do realize guy could have a "felony" simply due to a family court error and/or being under employed. If a court demands you pay a certain amount of money but your income does not justify it, they could care less, they will charge you with a felony. I think they should look at background and applicants idividually. If they are looking for a narcotics offcier for example, I hardly think some shelter, spoon fed mr. Collegiate type is going to be very effective. Just becuase someone makes good grades or is good at test taking does not mean they will make a good cop. I mean sure, stick the frat boys in traffic duty, that's an easy gig. I simply believe people should be looked upon their pwn merits and what the particular job entails.
Just because someone was a drug user does not make them a write off. Rush Limbaugh was a drug user but the GOPers became liberal an justify when one of their boys does something wrong.


Rouge makes sense if the rules are applied uniformly and if the character of the applicant is carefully and fairly evaluated. But the same rules should apply to everybody. "Normalizing" whether of gender or race is one of my pet peeves. One exception I might take,
Rogue, is that physical courage does not necessarily correlate with honesty. There's John Kerry for example (CRD-just kidding). My grandfather knew Emmett Dalton. Emmett was a very brave young man but not all that honest. Some say he turned out OK, but after all he did become a real estate salesman.


Good morning Rogue and NMMNG,

Rogue is on top of understanding this, NMMNG is as usual blinded by his morning vitriol.

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