Kansas City council to weigh using $9M in federal money to help fund police, public safety

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City council members plan to discuss a proposal on how it will use millions of dollars the city will receive through the American Recovery Plan.

It includes using more than $9 million dollars in federal money to restore funding to the Kansas City Police Department.

The money would also pay for another class at the police academy. The department did not have the funding to hold a 2021 class at this point.

“This is not a done deal. This is our request,” Heather Hall, Kansas City councilperson, told the Police Board of Commissioners Tuesday. “There are several of my colleagues who are excited about this. But it needs seven votes. So I’m not making any promises. I’m telling you what we have requested, because we believe it’s the right thing to do.”

The police department, along with other city departments, faced a 4.5% budget cut because Kansas City’s tax collections dropped by millions of dollars. The city’s fire department did not face the same cuts because it’s partially funded by a sales tax approved by voters.

“Every department provided budget reduction, except for the Kansas City, Missouri Fire Department,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “I think we had tried to hold them to a set of reduction areas, they were able to fill gaps with the fire sales tax.”

Hall said by allocating $9.2 million to the police department, it will put funding for the department more in line with the fire department.

The full city council still needs to hear the plan. It will take seven of the 13 members to vote in support of the funding to approve it. The council will likely discuss the funding option Thursday, but will not vote on the issue this week.

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