Kansas City community debate ensues after police funding changes announced

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Many Kansas Citians are speaking out about two ordinances proposed Thursday by Mayor Quinton Lucas. The city council swiftly approved the measures during a Thursday afternoon meeting.

The two ordinances will drastically change funding for the city’s police department and establish a new Community Services and Prevention Fund.

“What we’re doing right now ain’t working,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “It’s not just answer enough to say get more law enforcement.“

The mayor said the plan will increase accountability for the Kansas City Police Department. He said the initiatives will also improve the relationship with the community and make the city safer.

Community activist Justice Horn helps advise Lucas on police reform. He said this is a massive step toward addressing the issues that face Kansas City.

“I think with funding different departments that specialize in different things and different community systems,” Horn said. “we can better address those situations because when you’re walking around with a hammer everything looks like a nail.“

Those hit the hardest by violent crime in Kansas City had different opinions about this announcement.

Some are excited.

“Yeah, I was, I was very elated, happy because now they can take some of that money and use it in the community where it’s needed,” an 18th and Vine resident said.

However, others are concerned that less money means less police officers.

“We be like, where the police at when the killing happens?” one resident in 18th and Vine said. “I’m still kind of thinking defunding them would mess it up in that area because we barely have them now.”

Residents say while this idea seems radical to some, this is what policing looked like when they were young.

“It’s way different from what it used to be. They had programs. They had police coming into the neighborhood interacting with the kids and stuff like that. Nowadays these kids are scared of the police.“

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