Recently Police Chief Lynch submitted a letter to RaytownOnline.com. It met our standards and was published. In some ways it was cryptic, as it was in response to an article in the Raytown Times, that was not published on RaytownOnline.com. The Raytown Times has given permission to reprint their piece on the matter of the Raytown Police Pension Fund.
Raytown is indebted to the Police Pension Fund to the tune of $7.5 million and it could be 20 to 30 years, or more, before that debt is retired, depending on market fluctuations.
A third party hired by the Police Pension Board indicated the fund would have to show a 20 percent return annually to be fully funded, leading city officials to believe that the fund could no longer be sustained. Police Chief Jim Lynch disagreed with that assumption, holding that stock market gains would grow assets and require less contribution from the city.
In January 2014 the Board of Aldermen moved all current sworn officers of the police department into the Missouri Local Government Employees Retirement System (LAGERS) with other city employees. Officers who were vested with at least 10 years of service at the time of the change will continue to draw part of their pensions from the Police Pension Fund and part from LAGERS. The change will have no affect on retired officers, or widows, already drawing pensions.
The Police Pension Fund has been in existence since 1966. The city’s contribution to the fund grew through the years and remained 100 percent funded until 2000. The unfunded liability grew from about $74,000 in 2000 to more than 3.3 million in 2005. It ballooned to $7.5 million by 2014. In that six-year period, 2000-2005, the city ‘s contribution to the fund rose from $110,000 annually, or 6.7 percent of payroll, to nearly $420,000, or 17.8 percent of payroll. By December 2010 the city’s contribution to the pension fund grew to $747,643, or 25.1 percent of payroll, and city officials became worried about its sustainability.
Police officers contributed 3 percent of their pay to the pension fund up until 1999. The Board of Aldermen ended the practice that year, prompted by new rules from the Internal Revenue Service that prevented pension funds from piling up surpluses.
In 2004, a study showed that Raytown police salaries were the lowest of all surrounding departments and a 5.5 percent salary adjustment was enacted. For the next six years the salaries were raised annually by 5.5 percent, thus annually increasing the city’s contribution to police pensions. Those increases put the department into a competitive position among suburban departments.
There is discrepancy in how those raises were enacted, however. Lynch maintains the pay plan was approved by the Board of Aldermen in 2004. Approval by the city could not be found in city records.
The stock market collapse in 2008 immediately reduced the pension fund assets by $1.5 million, thus increasing the city’s contributions even more. Facing a budget bind, the city froze all city employee salaries in 2009, bringing an end to the annual 5.5 percent increases for police. All employees received a 3 percent increase in November 20 14, the first since the recession hit.
Normal retirement for police officers is 55 years of age with 20 years of service. The police department provided the Times a spread sheet showing a range of retiree pensions and the percentages of their pay at the time of retirement. Pension amounts range from $14,376 annually (22 percent of final compensation) to $79,800 (112 percent of final compensation). The lowest was a patrolman who retired early at the age of 46; the highest was a sergeant who worked nine years beyond his retirement age of 55. Pension benefits grow substantially when officers work over 20 years and past the age of 55.
In summary, city leaders felt strongly that the Police Pension Fund could not be sustained while police officials believed it could with improving market conditions. The two sides finally agreed to move police officers to the LAGERS plan, but philosophical differences between the two remain. It is important to realize that during the period from 2000 to 2014, the political landscape changed with new administrators and new elected leaders. All were factors in creating “The Perfect Storm” of controversy over the Police Pension Fund.
Two men connected by Johnson County, Kan., police to an armed robbery and murder of a gun shop owner there earlier this year have now been charged in connection with two Raytown robberies and an assault, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.
Londro Patterson III, 20, of New Century, KS, faces Attempted Robbery 1st Degree, Assault 1st Degree and two counts of Armed Criminal Action.*
In addition, Hakeem Malik, 18, of New Century, KS, faces Robbery 1st Degree.*
According to court records, Patterson’s charges relate to the robbery and assault of a store employee at the Whiskey Barrel liquor store on Raytown Road in January. During that robbery, one employee was shot. Malik’s charges relate to the robbery in late December 2014 of the Kwik Auto Finance business on Blue Ridge Blvd in Raytown.
Both defendants remain in custody in Johnson County, Kan.
Bold Car Thief’s Identity Sought by Police
Raytown Police are asking the public’s help in identifying a man that stole a car at a gas station in the 8700 block of East 63 Street, Friday morning, 03-20-15. The man was seen entering and driving away in the vehicle, a gray 2008 Nissan Maxima, which was parked in front of the store. The theft happened at about 7:34 AM, while there were several customers in and around the store. The car has not been located.
The man was wearing a black Carhartt-style jacket, yellow shirt, yellow gloves, and a black backpack.
Images of the thief were obtained and released by the police in an effort to identify the man.
Anyone with information about the man, or this crime, is asked to call the TIPS Hotline, at (816) 474-TIPS (8477).
The Raytown High School Robotics Team’s robot and tool were stolen from a van parked in the driveway of one of the team’s coaches in Independence on the morning of Monday, March 9th, 2015. A computer and toolbox were also stolen from the van. Thieves gained access by breaking out the back window.
Raytown Chief of Police Jim Lynch has announced many successful events and achievements accomplished by the Raytown Police Department, and Department members, over the course of 2014.
During the year 2014, the Raytown Police Department continued in its efforts to enhance its service to the residents of Raytown. Events, programs, and initiatives were held to enhance communication and cooperation with our residents.
Early in 2014, Sergeant Michelle Rogers was promoted to the rank of Captain, making her the first woman to be promoted to the rank of Captain in the Department’s history. Captain Rogers has 25 years of law enforcement experience.
The Raytown Police activated the H.E.A.R. Program in March of 2014, in response to the extremely cold temperature. H.E.A.R. is the Health Emergency Assistance Registry, with the purpose of providing assistance to at-risk residents, who are registered in the program, during times of weather emergencies (including extreme temperatures, hot or cold, and storms.) The service is free to qualifying Raytown residents, which could include the disabled, elderly and frail, or those relying on a health device powered by electricity.
On the night of April 11th, 2014, the Raytown Police Department hosted a virtual ride along, or “tweet-along,” on its Twitter account, @RaytownPD. Viewers “patrolled” with one of Raytown Police’s “Night Squads.” Tweet-alongs offer an opportunity for everyone to get a glimpse into police work. Tweet-alongs are convenient alternatives for those that are unable, or do not wish, to actually ride with an officer.
Twice in 2014, the Police Department hosted Drug Take Back Days, which helped prevent pill abuse and theft by collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal.
In April, the Raytown Police Department presented information about Financial Scams and Fraud, and how residents can better identify it. The presentation was given by Cpl. Mike Boessen, a former financial crimes investigator. The free presentation helpedattendees recognize and understand financial scams, how they work, and what people should do if they believe that they have been the victim of a financial scam.
The presentation was held at the Raytown Mid-Continent Public Library.
On May 23rd, 2014, Raytown Police Officers participated in the 2014 Law Enforcement Torch Run to benefit Special Olympics. The 7.20 mile route began at the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 50, 10032 E. 63 Street, Raytown, and ended at the Kansas City Police Department South Patrol Campus, 9701 Marion Park Drive, Kansas City, Missouri. Over the last 30 years, Missouri Law Enforcement agencies have participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run (LETR), which supports Special Olympics Missouri.
On June 3rd, 2014, 20 people graduated from the Raytown Community Emergency Response Team training, and joined others to form a CERT Team in Raytown. The CERT Program teaches volunteer citizens disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact the area in which they live. The training includes basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations.
The Raytown Police Department hosted a National Night Out event in the summer of 2014. The event generated support for, and participation in, local anti-crime efforts, as well as strengthened neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships. The evening was dedicated to crime prevention and awareness within the community. Theevent allow the public to get an up-close and personal look at Police Cars, Fire Trucks, Ambulances, and Public Works trucks. The event was held at Kenagy Park.
Raytown Police Sergeant Gilbert Anderson completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Crisis Negotiation Course, held at the FBI Academy, Quantico, Virginia, on September 19th, 2014. The two week, intensive, course, which included hostage, kidnapping, barricade and suicide situations, was presented by the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit. Sgt. Anderson was one of only two domestic officers invited to attend the specialized training, along with international officers and FBI Agents.
Raytown Police Sergeant Michael McDonough, now retired, and a Raytown resident, was the recipient of a 2014 Truman Heartland Community Foundation Outstanding Citizen Award at the Truman Heartland Community Foundation’s Toast To Our Towns Gala on September 6th, 2014, in Kansas City, Missouri. The Outstanding Citizen Award honored area citizens in our communities who, thanks to their service and charitable support, have made significant contributions to the places where we live and work.
Raytown Police Sergeant Michael McDonough (retired) and Detective Shawn Didde were recognized in November of 2014 at the 8th annual “Heroes for Heartland” Law Enforcement banquet, hosted by the Heartland Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, MADD. Det. Didde was recognized for his Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) enforcement work in 2013. While serving in the Uniformed Patrol Division in 2013, as a Patrol Officer, he made over 30 DWI arrests, making the roadways safer for the citizens of Raytown. Sgt. McDonough was recognized for his DWI enforcement work during his 39-year long career serving the citizens of Raytown. Sgt. McDonough served as a Sergeant of the Traffic Unit, and coordinated various traffic-safety initiatives, including sobriety checkpoints, hazardous and aggressive driving grants, and traffic-related training for his fellow officers.
The Raytown Police Department announced the launch of its new website, http://www.raytownpolice.org, in November of 2014. The new website is used to enhance communication, and create partnerships, with the citizens and businesses of Raytown. The website provides information for police and public partnering opportunities, including Citizen Police Academies and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training. Career and volunteer opportunities will also be posted as they become available. The website was the result of work by a small group of Department members from different divisions and units of the Department. That small group had a vision to provide a means to quickly and easily exchange important information with Raytown citizens, then turned that vision into a website aimed at improved service. They saved Raytown taxpayers money by developing and building the website themselves, and tailoring it to fit the goals of the Department and to serve its citizens.
The Raytown Police Department is committed to providing and maintaining a safe community by developing strong community partnerships and serving with professionalism, trust, and integrity, in 2015 and beyond.
On February 21st at 11:37 AM Raytown Police officers were called to a store in 10000 Block of 350 Highway for a black male that had assaulted an employee. Officers contacted the subject in the parking lot of the business where he was arrested. While making the arrest one Raytown Police Officer was bitten and another injured his back. The suspect and the officers were taken to a local hospital for evaluation. The suspect is in custody and charges are pending.
On Monday, February 16th about 8:49 PM, Raytown Officers were called to a pharmacy in the 5300 Block of Blue Ridge Boulevard for an armed man who had demanded pills. When the officers arrived they were told that a white male wearing a dark-colored coat, a hat, sun glasses and scarf around his face displayed a gun to the pharmacist and demanded pills. The man was about 6’3’’, between 30-45 years old, thin build and around 200 lbs. Once the man was given the pills he left north on Woodson Road in a newer model Gold Dodge Ram. No one was harmed during the robbery.
If you have any information on this or any other crimes please contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS
Falonzo Davis was convicted by a jury of Murder 2nd Degree and Armed Criminal Action late Wednesday. The jury recommends life and 30 years.
The conviction was for shooting death of 30-year-old Steven Jones in the parking lot of the Success Academy on the morning of Feb. 20th 2014. The motive was that Mr. Jones was ‘keeping company’ with Mr. Davis’ wife.
More information on this in previous articles.
Raytown Police responded to a pharmacy in the 7500 block of Raytown Road, Friday (01-23-15), in regard to a “nature unknown” call. Upon arrival, officers learned that a man had approached the pharmacy counter and demanded prescription drugs, with a threatening demeanor. Officers quickly apprehended the man, who was attempting to leave the store. The man did not display or mention a weapon, when demanding the drugs, and there were no injuries.
The identity of the 29-year-old Kansas City man will not be released until charges are filed in the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
Raytown Police continue to investigate the robbery of a liquor store in the 6500 block of Raytown Road, which occurred on 01-02-2015. Two black males entered the store, demanded money and one of the males struck a female employee, which knocked her down. One of the males displayed a gun. When a male employee attempted to activate the alarm, he fell to the ground. The two suspects left the store. The male employee was transported to an area hospital for treatment to a wound to his head.
The male employee initially told the responding officers that he thought he tripped, causing him to strike his head, however, it was later discovered that he had most likely suffered a grazing gunshot wound to his head. He was treated at the hospital and has since been released.
The male suspects are described as being about 6’ tall, thin build, wearing dark clothing.
Raytown Police investigators believe that the liquor store robbery suspects may have been involved in other crimes, and have been diligently working with other law enforcement agencies to bring this case to a successful conclusion, which has restricted the release of information until today. We thank our community members that have remained patient through this process. The investigation into this robbery is ongoing, so in order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, and potentially others, no other information will be released at this time.
Anyone with information about this robbery, or any other crime, is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at (816) 474-TIPS (8477).
Raytown Police Correct Inaccurate Police Pension Information
Raytown, MO – Raytown Police Chief Jim Lynch took an opportunity today (01-06-15) to correct inaccurate information regarding the Raytown Police Pension, which was published in the December 17, 2014 issue of the Raytown Times. The inaccurate information was listed at the top of page 4, in volume 5, issue 40.
The opinion article, written by Randy Battagler, refers to officers potentially collecting “double pay.” Officers may only earn a maximum benefit of 60% of their pay (life annuity.) Those that serve our city longer, wait to receive their pension benefit and retire later, will receive a higher monthly payment. If an officer retires earlier, their monthly pension payment is lower. Similar to Social Security benefits, the monthly payment is impacted by how soon an officer retires, after reaching retirement eligibility age. Taking an early retirement means a lesser monthly payment, and waiting to retire means an increased monthly payment. However, the maximum benefit, 60%, does not change. Some officers may have other retirement income, unrelated to the Raytown Police Pension, which could include Social Security, military retirement benefits, and individually-owned income products (IRA’s, etc.)
Mr. Battagler asserted that, “Without contributions from participants the fund had fallen well short of the amount it needed to be solvent.” There were many factors that impacted the unfunded liability of the Police Pension, including stock market downturns and intermittent payments by former city finance directors. The unfunded liability must still be paid, regardless of the City moving the Police Officers to LAGERS. In fact, the LAGERS plan costs more (approximately 12% of payroll) than the former Police Pension plan (approximately 8%.) Even after the unfunded liability has been paid, the LAGERS plan, which has added benefits including cost of living adjustments, will be more expensive than the Police Pension plan.
Mr. Battagler also said that “without the change the city could have faced bankruptcy.” That is simply not the case. It was the belief by some that the former Police Pension plan was unsustainable, which prompted the discussion, and subsequent change, not the threat of the plan failing or causing bankruptcy.
In fact, the Police Pension plan is performing very well in the current economic environment. Since 2008, when the stock market downturn hurt almost every pension plan, the Police Pension plan funded status has increased every year, with contributions decreasing or remaining the same as a percent of pay in that same period.
Chief Lynch is committed to transparency and openness. The Raytown Police Pension Board meetings have always been, and remain, open meetings. The schedules of Pension Board meetings are posted in the Police Department lobby, as well as the Police Department News blog, RPD News Room (http://piorpd.wordpress.com/) for the public and media to view any time.
Raytown Missouri-On Wednesday 01-14-15, at about 6:40 P.M., while investigating a vehicle crash at the 9600 block of E. 350 Hwy, a marked Police vehicle was struck by another vehicle, while the Officer was inside his vehicle. The Officer was transported to a local hospital via ambulance for an evaluation as a precaution. The driver of the other vehicle was taken into custody and alcohol may have been a factor in that crash. The Raytown Police Accident Investigation Unit is investigating the incident
A search of CaseNet reveals a individual matching the full name and age of one of the 4 people arrested in the Shawnee gun store murder. Public files list a Deanthony Armond Wiley with a birth date of 1995 as living in Raytown. RaytownOnline is investigating whether any of the other three individuals charged in the case have connections to Raytown.
The individuals in custody are Hakeem Willie Malik, 18, Londro Emanuel Patterson, 19, Deanthony Armond Wiley, 19, and Nicquan Ke-Aaron Midgyett, 19.
For more on this story, click HERE and HERE to read articles on the Kansas City Star website.
From the Police Blotter we have this, “Officers were dispatched to a vehicle that had been stolen from a residence and was being followed by a witness. The vehicle wrecked and the occupants fled, but were not captured. The vehicle was recovered and released to the owner.”
From a reader of RaytowOnline we have this information, “Had a vehicle stolen on Hardy Ave last night 1230am 3 black males took off after wrecking the truck on Blue Ridge. They had also grabbed items from porches of surrounding homes.”