Support Services Division
Major John Cato
Support Services Division Commander
The Independence Police Department’s Communications Unit’s 34 civilian staff members provide 24-hour coverage for enhanced 9-1-1.The unit handled 139,997 incoming 9-1-1 emergency calls in 2009. It is the primary answering point for all emergency calls and dispatches for police, fire and animal services. The unit monitors the Independence School District camera system, the Kansas City ATA bus depot, and the cameras in the jail.The unit maintains high standards and continues to improve by attending continuing education at the Mid-America Regional Council. The unit also supplies an instructor for several classes offered at the Mid-America Regional Council. The unit utilizes the Document Management System to maintain and remain familiar with unit policies and procedures.
Other telecommunicator responsibilities include:
- locating responsible persons by telephone for any type of call when police or fire personnel at an incident scene determine such a response is needed,
- wants & warrants computer inquiries in local, regional, state, and national criminal data bases,
- TDD emergency call telephone system for hearing-impaired persons,
- preparation and mailing of billings for false alarms (in 2002, of the 6,428 business and residential alarms, 6,280, or 98%, were false alarms),
- creating and responding to law enforcement network teletype requests,
- establishing and maintaining mutual aid communications with surrounding jurisdictions,
- participation in Citizens’ Police Academy instruction.
The Detention Unit is a short-term holding facility that receives and processes adult prisoners arrested by officers in Independence, and in other jurisdictions on Independence municipal warrants. Prisoners are kept in a secure environment until their lawful release. Juveniles that are arrested are not taken into the jail facility, but their paperwork is processed by Detention Unit staff.
The detention unit is also a 20-bed facility, and processes an annual average of 13,500 arrests. Inmates who are required to spend more than 72 hours in jail are sent to the contract location in Ray County. Independence houses an average of 40 inmates per day at the contract facility. Detention Officers book arrests, and obtain mug shots and finger prints. In August a new Missouri State Statute became law that mandates the collection of DNA from inmates arrested for certain crimes and that duty has been assumed by the detention unit. It is estimated that more than 1,000 DNA samples will be taken during a fiscal year.
The Records Unit staff consists of 17 staff, two supervisors and one administrator. The front desk has a total of 8 employees who maintain the desk area and serve the general public by completing police reports, and answering questions. The Records staff has nine employees to provide technical contact work in the processing of reports for a variety of records including stolen autos, missing persons, fraud, and forgery. The Warrant Service staff’s two employees handle receiving and returning warrants, subpoenas, and other pertinent court and jail papers. The Record Unit provides and disseminates various police reports for officers and for the general public. They provide information from internal and external data bases concerning criminal records and warrant information. In 2009 the records unit accomplished the following:
Issued 25,981 city and state warrants;
Served 25,284 warrants;
Entered 80,395 warrant checks;
Sold 20,288 police records to the public;
Handled 89,167 desk reports and customer assistance to the public;
Handled 131,189 telephone inquiries;
Handled 8,259 mail inquiries;
Handled 164,958 entries into various law enforcement computer databases; and
Collected $924,980.70 bond money
for Independence and outside agencies.