Friday, September 26, 2014

rule of law: local elites try'na put a dab of lipstick on rampant pigs...,

kcstar |  For more than 40 years, New York City’s police foundation has raised private dollars to buy everything from horses to bulletproof vests to crime analysis technology.

Atlanta’s police foundation, created in 2003, raises several million dollars annually to assist police, especially with a camera surveillance network.

And the St. Louis police foundation, begun in 2007, now provides more than a half-million dollars per year for such things as ATVs and even dogs.

In fact, most big cities view police foundations as vital to providing money for the wish lists that so ...,many departments can’t fund with strapped city budgets.

Finally, after years of research and organizing, Kansas City is joining the trend.

“We’re starting to roll,” said Cy Ritter, who was hired in March as the Kansas City police foundation’s executive director, a few years after retiring as a Kansas City deputy police chief. 

Ritter has just launched the foundation’s first two major initiatives: a program to track and find missing people with autism or dementia, and another to start a major surveillance camera program.

“The city is very good to Police and Fire, but there’s just not enough dollars,” Ritter said, adding that the foundation was formed to supplement public tax money that pays for police salaries, cars, uniforms and other essentials. The foundation’s focus, like that in many cities, will be training and new technologies.

Betsey Solberg, chairwoman of the foundation’s 14-member board, acknowledges that it’s taken several years for the organization to get up and running — and that Kansas City trails other cities that did this years ago.

“We are behind, but we are getting caught up,” said Solberg, adding that the foundation is critically needed. Kansas City’s violent crime rate, while improving in recent months, still ranks as one of the worst in the country.

“If you look at how serious our crime is,” she said, “we’ve got to do something.”

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