No matter where we live, reports about crimes being committed tend to dominate the headlines. Independence is no exception. Those incidents can feel overwhelming or give the impression that our law enforcement efforts are ineffective.

No matter where we live, reports about crimes being committed tend to dominate the headlines. Independence is no exception. Those incidents can feel overwhelming or give the impression that our law enforcement efforts are ineffective.
Beyond the initial headlines, however, there is positive news, thanks to the dedication of the men and women of the Independence Police Department. I would like to take this opportunity to share the largely untold story of the recent changes in law enforcement strategy and successful results of their efforts.
Under the leadership of Chief Tom Dailey, IPD has implemented a very effective approach in policing philosophy and practice that has become integral to the department’s overall crime-reduction plan. At the heart of this change is a process called crime overview response and evaluation. The philosophy of CORE is to target specific criminal activity with the best police resources available, utilizing an intelligence-driven approach.
Each division in the department participates in the CORE process by meeting collaboratively each week to discuss trends, particular issues and specific individuals believed to be involved in crime. Crime-analysis personnel provide data for statistical analysis, intelligence derived from witnesses, confidential informants and victims, as well as forensic evidence provided by crime-scene investigators. The process provides for the development of targeted plans for reducing crime in our city. The plans are then coupled with the philosophy of community oriented policing, which is built around the important and systematic partnerships between police and citizens. The result is a powerful force in solving both emerging and chronic criminal problems.
Statistically since the CORE process began in 2009, the overall number of Part I crimes (murder/non-negligent manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft and arson) has decreased, after years of trending in the opposite direction. The general principle is that a small percentage of society commits a majority of the crimes. When police focus their attention on those individuals and their criminal activity they will go to jail, move away or discontinue their criminal behavior. Either way, when the illegal activities of “career criminals” are halted, several types of crimes are usually reduced.
There are examples of this success that should inspire confidence that our law-enforcement efforts are on the right track. In recent weeks, Independence police have arrested several suspects believed to have committed crimes involving forgery, fraud, shooting, first-degree burglary, armed robbery and several other related charges.
• One suspect has been committing fraud on the Internet and meeting with victims to steal their money. Patrol officers utilized the CORE philosophy, set up a sting operation and caught the suspect.
• IPD detectives gathered intelligence, developed a profile and captured a man who shot four people at a a local entertainment night spot.
n In a dangerous case in which suspects were burglarizing homes with victims inside, officers used intelligence information, staked out the victimized area and caught the criminals in the act of another burglary.
• Another set of burglars was committing daylight burglaries and stealing guns from homes. Officers canvassed the neighborhood, gathered intelligence, conducted surveillance and captured the suspects when they returned to retrieve guns they had hidden from the burglaries.
• Armed robbers believed to have committed at least eight armed robberies in Independence, and possibly as many as 16 throughout the metropolitan area, were also captured through the CORE process. Intelligence from witnesses, forensic evidence from IPD crime scene investigation personnel, crime analysis data, and strategic surveillance led IPD officers to arrest the suspects in the act of planning another armed robbery.
This type of policing has become the norm for the IPD and again, it is due to the tireless dedication of the officers who make it work and their “not in our city” attitude toward criminal behavior. These efforts and successes are striking in light of the continuing growth of Independence and the entire metropolitan area. It is my belief that with the support of the community and the efforts of the Independence Police Department, we as a city will continue to prosper and remain one of the finest cities in America.