The young woman on the phone with police was distressed and disoriented. A kidnapping victim, she had just been released along Independence Avenue, but she couldn’t tell police her exact location.
Police soon found her, near Hardesty Avenue, by using newly installed security cameras. Detectives then used new license plate readers to gather information about the kidnapping suspect.
The security equipment was part of a recent donation to Kansas City police by the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District, the department and the neighborhood group said in a news release. It’s the first time a neighborhood group has teamed with Kansas City police to place security cameras in their community.
The Independence Avenue CID gave nearly $60,000 worth of security equipment to the police department, in addition to $15,000 donated for cameras last year.
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The CID spans about 3 miles on Independence Avenue, and donated cameras will cover the area from The Paseo to Bennington Avenue, according to Bobbi Baker-Hughes, manager of the Independence Avenue CID and Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.
“The only people that view the live feed are the KCPD, and officers only view them at a call for service or a call to crime in that area,” Baker-Hughes said.
In another incident, a man in a wheelchair was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
“When the officers arrived at the accident, the wheelchair was broken up, the man was lying in the street and the car had left the scene,” said Kansas City police Sgt. Pat Rauzi. “We had put a 360 camera at the scene, and from that footage, we could see that he was trying to commit suicide.”
Rauzi said the camera provided not only the vehicle’s license plate but also showed what the man in the wheelchair was doing before the accident.
Police are not disclosing the camera locations, Rauzi said.
Lily Oppenheimer: 816-234-4735