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FOP president says fewer officers on KC streets mean increased waits for police response

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Fraternal Order of Police President spoke at Monday night's Northland Neighborhoods meeting. Brad Lemon told FOX 4 that less officers on the streets will mean a longer wait time for citizens after they call for help. FOX 4 first told you about 50 police department positions being eliminated last week.

"Less police officers serving Kansas City is never good," Lemon said.

Lemon's concerns come following Kansas City Council's budget that was adopted last week. Even though the KCPD received a million dollar increase from last year it still was not enough Lemon said. He said having less staff leaves police officers short handed and in dangerous situations.

"I think we did the best we could with what we had and that is what we adopted," said 2nd District Councilman Dan Fowler.

Lemon said the police department will likely get rid of positions through attrition. Kansas City Police Chief Forte blogged Monday about steps the department has already taken over the past two years to keep its budget down. Chief Forte said no one at KCPD received a raise last year, the department eliminated 100 civilian jobs and bought fewer cars than were budgeted for.

"We will have less officers being able to answer your call for service," Lemon said. "We will have less officers riding a two person crew, we will have less officers available to handle the things needed to be handled."

Councilman Fowler said if the earnings tax doesn't pass the police department will be in even worse shape.

"If we don't have that tax we will without a doubt have no alternative but to lay off public safety," he told FOX 4.