By NADIA PFLAUM
It was definitely time for the Kansas City Police Department to update its Policy and Procedures pages.
An unnaturally observant tipster advised us to log onto the KCPD Web site and click on "Policy and Procedures" in the right-hand column. He or she – we keep things confidential around here, people – instructed us to click on the first heading, “95-8, Harassment and Stalking” and glance down to Section III, part 2: Procedure:
When a telephone is used for harassing, the Communications Unit personnel should advise the complainant to contact Southwestern Bell Telephone Company (S.W.B.T.) at 1-800-246-4999. An Offense report is not completed at the time of the initial complaint except in cases of threats to do personal injury.
See that phone number? We called it. Here’s what we heard.
Wet play, huh? Not what a stalking victim is hoping to hear, we imagine.
We called Capt. Rich Lockhart at the KCPD and had him follow the same steps we did.
“Oh no, are you going to tell me that this is like a porn line now, or something?” Lockhart asked, with astonishing foresight.
While we waited on the landline, he dialed the number on his cell phone. Rather than giggling like schoolgirls (like, er, we did), he said, sarcastically, “That’s always nice."
Professional as always, Lockhart quickly switched back into spokesman mode. "I think that, upon pointing that out, we probably need to make a policy revision, since the policy hasn’t been revised in some time. Typically, on things like that, the investigative elements that make those referrals will have a more up-to-date phone number.”
Lockhart went on to say that the number on the Web site probably was accurate at one point, perhaps back in 1995 when the policies were last revised. “We’re talking about 13 years ago. And now it’d be AT&T.”
Lockhart made a notation today to have the site corrected, and he thanked us very graciously for pointing out the problem.