KCUR News
5:16 pm
Tue February 22, 2011

Funding Gone: Cold Case Crew Regroups

KANSAS CITY, MO. – A federal grant will not be renewed to pay for the cold case squad that's helped solve scores of older Kansas City crimes, and changes are coming.

The squad gained attention with resolution of a series of rapes in the Waldo area dating to the 1980's. Now the police department is changing how the squad works.

The department will be adding a team of homicide detectives. And reorganizing the squad that works on unsolved sex crimes. Deputy Chief Kevin Masters says three detectives from cold case are being reintegrated into homicide teams and one that deals only with current sex crimes.

The plan is, in the long run, to get out of the cold case business entirely by increasing early-on crime solution.

Lt. Colonel Masters says the back-end log should be smaller then, adding, "we want to dedicate the resources to work the front end so hopefully we never see them on the back end." And the timing in doing so, says Masters, is important. The Deputy Chief asks, " do we want to lose a 500 thousand dollar grant? Absolutely not. But, we have always been responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars as well. That's our effort."

The expired grant arrived in 2008 from the National Institute for Justice to staff a cold case sex crimes unit. Kansas City had 4 thousand crimes that needed a second look for evidence. Masters says the number is down to 11 hundred. The changes will be made when the next fiscal year starts in May.