July 27, 2019
The Lee’s Summit Police Department is looking ahead with their “LSPD Blueprint” plan, a five-year guidance document Chief of Police Travis Forbes shared with the city council at their July 23 meeting. The presentation included eight priorities for the department, including expansion of their Crime Reduction Team (CRT), adding a substation on the south side of town and expanding mental health and critical incident response capabilities.
Forbes said that the completion of these priority items largely depends on funding. The department is hoping to get new funds from a no tax increase bond issue on the ballot next week and is also looking at grant funding to support some of the initiatives. He said seven years to complete all priorities is a more realistic estimate, but they would like to tackle the list as aggressively as possible.
Citing a 40% decrease in thefts, as well as a decrease in service calls, Forbes says the CRT has seen great success since it began as a pilot program in 2011. The team consists of three officers reporting to one sergeant and the department would like to more than double that, with plans to form two teams of five officers, each headed by one sergeant, as well as a captain and an analyst.
Plans for a substation would help maintain a police presence in southern Lee’s Summit, adding a fitness facility, public meeting space, a drop for evidence and a location for regular reporting and shift briefing. Forbes says that without traffic, it takes nearly 20 minutes to get from the police station (located at NE Douglas Street and Tudor Road) to the southernmost city limit.
Many of the department’s plans are intended to keep the city looking forward to proactively respond to criminal justice needs as the city grows, particularly with added commercial, retail and industrial development.
“The city just continues to grow and change, and I think having that ability to think strategically and look ahead is very important,” Forbes said.
The presentation did not include any specific requests for funding or for other council action.