Raytown police chief says city budget cuts may lead to reduction in force and patrol
RAYTOWN, Mo. — Raytown’s police chief received a letter on Tuesday advising him that when the new fiscal year starts in November, he won’t have $2.7 million he was expecting.
Chief Jim Lynch wrote an open letter criticizing city of Raytown, and warning that the sudden budget change would likely mean drastic job cuts. Officers, detectives, and dispatchers who have jobs right now, might not have them later in the year.
Here’s the letter in full:
Dear Residents of Raytown:
I have had the pleasure of policing in Raytown for more than 40 years and have been Chief of Police since 2001. Our mission at the Raytown Police Department is to provide a safe community for the people that live and work in Raytown. I am proud to work with our dedicated men and women and I hold a great deal of responsibility to the people who call Raytown home.
Last night, I learned that the upcoming budget of the Police Department, which begins on November 1st, will be cut by over 2.5 million dollars, in addition to another half million dollars that have been cut. To fully inform our community, I have released a copy of the letter that outlines the budget cuts. In order to meet that budget goal, drastic reductions to staffing must occur. 85% of our annual budget is made up of personnel costs, for our dispatchers, detectives, police officers, and the rest of our staff. The budget reduction equates to substantial impacts to public safety service, including the reduction of the number of police officers that serve our neighborhoods and protect our city. Please bear with us as we work through this.
Thank you for your patience while we address this development and its impact on the men and women of the Raytown Police Department and the safety of the Raytown community.
Chief Jim Lynch
FOX 4 reached out for a response from the city, and received the following: