Kansas City police board votes to look at legal standing of funding changes

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Board of Police Commissioners is weighing its legal options. Mayor Quinton Lucas is a member of the police board.

It follows the fast-tracked funding changes he championed for the police department last week.

On Monday, the board went behind closed doors where the board decided to not move forward with the mayor’s plans yet. It’s going to make sure all legal options are considered.

Lucas said he’s trying to change the way policing is done in Kansas City, but insists this isn’t a move to defund the department. Only to give the city more control over it.

In Monday’s closed session, two major items were hashed out.

The first: The board voted to appoint Nathan Garrett and Cathy Dean, both BOPC members, to a litigation committee. They will look at all legal options to enforce the board’s rights and responsibilities.

The board also agreed to move into litigation if the committee finds legal standing to move forward. Garrett said this is what’s best for Kansas City and the department.

“This is about what’s best for the city, what’s best for the police department and intelligent minds can have differing views about that. What I would encourage in the future for my friends and colleagues at the city is that we have communication,” Garrett said.

Lucas said he believes the ordinances passed last week will stand.

“I think that is both lawful. I think it is appropriate,” he said. “I think it’s what the people of Kansas City have wanted time and again. I think it has been distorted in recent days by many who have for political reasons, mainly those who are not in Kansas City want to make this part of a culture war.”

Garrett said if litigation is filed, it should start in circuit court in the Kansas City metro and could move all the way up to the Missouri Supreme Court.

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