KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners has voted to allow Kansas City police officers to live in both Missouri and Kansas.
The board voted 4-1 on Tuesday to change its residency requirements, with only Mayor Quinton Lucas voting against the proposal. Officers now just have to live within 30 miles of the city.
Under the previous policy, officers were able to live within 30 miles of city limits — but only in Missouri. That change came last summer after Missouri relaxed the department’s residency requirements on a legislative level.
Before the residency rule was expanded last year, Kansas City officers were required to live within Kansas City limits.
Lucas has long been opposed to expanding residency. On Tuesday, he again spoke out against the decision.
“The Police Board’s decision on police residency in Kansas up to 30 miles away is a mistake. At a time when our community is seeking closer connections with those who police our neighborhoods, the board’s decision will build a less diverse department less familiar with Kansas City,” he tweeted.
“The Board’s decision reverses and undermines generations of prior Board decisions, state legislative guidance, the City Council and the intuition of almost any Kansas Citian in the neighborhoods most impacted by crime.”
Supporters, on the other hand, have said it would provide officers with a better work-life balance and help recruit new officers to the department who want to live in places like Wyandotte and Johnson counties.
In his State of the City address in February, Lucas said Kansas City has a goal of hiring an additional 150 police officers in 2022 and increasing pay for officers and civilian staff.
To help do that, the city and police board approved a $269 million budget for the police department, as well as adding $33 million to the Community Policing and Prevention Fund. The money will still go to KCPD but will be directly focused on increased pay for officers and staff, adding more officers, funding for the communications unit and more.
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