2014 News

Drug Task Force Named Law Enforcement Unit Of The Year
APRIL 15, 2014 -- When new investigators join the Jackson County Drug Task Force, Officer in Charge Dan Cummings tells them, "I'm going to afford you the opportunity of a lifetime, and it's what you make of it. You're going to work harder than ever before in your career, and you're going to have the most fun you've ever had."

What's fun about perilous undercover work, dealing with dangerous drug traffickers?

Cummings answered that question during the Jackson County Legislature's meeting Monday, April 14: "I think we're doing some really great things and putting some really bad people in jail, which is really fun."

Their peers from throughout Missouri agree that Cummings and his Task Force team are raising the standard for excellence with regard to "putting some really bad people in jail." For the third consecutive year, the Missouri Narcotic Officers Association (MNOA) has named the Jackson County Drug Task Force the Law Enforcement Unit of the Year. The association also recognized Cummings as the 2013 Officer of the Year. > MORE

County Moving Forward With Eastern
Jackson County Courthouse Renovations

For the second time in two years, Jackson County is taking on the task of completing a major renovation to one of its courthouses.

At the regular weekly meeting of the Jackson County Legislature on Monday, April 7, County Executive Mike Sanders and Presiding Judge Marco Roldan of the 16th Circuit Court provided an update on the planned renovations for the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse in Independence.

Some of the work is already underway. In January, Jackson County Public Works crews began tuck pointing the exterior of the courthouse, which was last renovated in 1972. Tuck pointing is a process that involves restoring the joints of a building so it is sealed properly and protected from water leaks. That work will be completed in early summer. > MORE

A Timeless Work Of Art Unveiled
FEBRUARY 26, 2014 -- The word "capsule" doesn't exactly have a lot of eye-appeal. One hears it and usually doesn't envision anything fancy. Thanks to five students in Jackson County's MyARTS program the Historic Truman Courthouse time capsule should be catching people's eyes for the next 80 years -- until the capsule, which will be sealed May 10, is opened in September 2093.

The five young artists, from three different Independence-area high schools, have adorned the capsule with a mural depicting two United States Presidents, the recently restored Truman Courthouse, the Community of Christ Temple in Independence, the county seal, and a clock with Roman numerals representing the decades, not hours, that will past between now and 2093. The two Presidents have direct ties to Jackson County: Harry S. Truman, the county's Presiding Judge in the 1930s, and Andrew Jackson, the man for whom the county was named. (Jackson occupied the Oval Office when the Missouri State Legislature authorized forming the "County of Jackson" in 1826.) > MORE

Option To Acquire Rail Rights-Of-Way Represents
Big Step Forward In Regional Transit & Trail Development

FEBRUARY 25, 2014 -- Jackson County and the Union Pacific Railroad Company (UP) have reached an agreement crucial to the potential development of a commuter rail system and expansion of trails in the county.

Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders and UP Chief Executive Officer John Koraleski have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) giving the county the no-cost option to purchase more 20 miles of UP rail corridors running through Raytown, Lee's Summit, Kansas City and Independence. After Sanders announced the agreement during the Monday, February 24 County Legislative meeting, Independence Mayor Don Reimal called the potential acquisition of these corridors "a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we need to take advantage of." > MORE

Goals To Curb Violence Emphasized During Meeting With Agencies
Focus On Anti-Violence

For 25 years, the Jackson County Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax, better known as COMBAT, has focused on fighting drug abuse and crime throughout the community.

Through a quarter-cent county-wide sales tax, COMBAT funds various drug treatment and prevention agencies as well as providing funding for law enforcement to help fight drug crime locally. But over the last year, the COMBAT staff has worked to expand its mission by putting a new focus on stemming the tide of violent crime in local cities and neighborhoods.

The new emphasis on anti-violence initiatives began last February with the launch of the “Don’t Look the Other Way Campaign,” which encouraged citizens to “Step Up” and “Speak Up” by calling the COMBAT hotline (816-881-3662) when they see crime or illegal activity occurring. > MORE

Work Begins To Upgrade Facility, Creating Courtrooms For Busy Docket
Eastern Jackson County Courthouse Renovations

Just a few short months after completing renovations and re-opening the Historic Truman Courthouse in Independence, Jackson County has begun much needed renovations and repairs to the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse (formerly known as the Courthouse Annex), also in downtown Independence.

County Public Works crews began tuck pointing the exterior of the building on Monday, January 13. Tuck pointing involves restoring joints on the brick exterior, in order to seal a building so it is protected from water leaks.

The Eastern Jackson County Courthouse has not been renovated since the early 1970s. Since then, the population in the county residing east of Interstate 435 has risen dramatically, which has led to the county courthouse in Independence having some of the busiest court dockets in the State of Missouri. > MORE

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