Kansas City Police Board discussing legal action over change in police department funding

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Police Board said it will meet Monday afternoon to discuss its legal options after Mayor Quinton Lucas and the majority of the city council approved two new ordinances last week.

The ordinances shifted how the police department receives funding.

Members of the police board, four city council members, and Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Rick Smith said they were not consulted about the new ordinances before Lucas announced, and the city council approved, the changes.

The ordinances stipulate that 20% of the city’s general revenue would go to the Kansas City Police Department. That funding is required by the Missouri Legislature.

The mayor’s office said last week anything over 20% would go to a new Community Services and Prevention Fund.

The police department would need to request millions of dollars from the fund to operate. The City Manager and Board of Police Commissioners would need to approve those requests.

The mayor’s office said he does not see this as defunding the police, but instead adds accountability to the department. He said the money is not being taken from the department because it’s the only one that can request money from the fund. The money is not going to any other organization. The mayor said it is simply holding the department accountable for the money it receives and how it uses the funding.

The Police Board confirmed legal discussion would be the reason the quickly-scheduled meeting would not be open to the public Monday.

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