KC leadership’s new plan to reduce violent crime includes budget cuts to all city departments

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri’s top brass unveiled a new plan to reduce violent crime Wednesday.

It includes prevention, intervention, enforcement and trust. At the same time, the KCMO City Manager is asking all city departments to submit plans for reducing 2021 budgets by 11%. It is a request KCPD Chief Rick Smith said will affect police services.

In his weekly blog, Smith said closing Central and North Patrol are just some of the changes that may have to be made if KCPD needs to find $26 million in cuts.

Some Kansas City residents are concerned because they already have trouble getting service.

“He had started to walk backwards and then he fell straight back and hit his head,” said Shannon Owens, of her neighbor who fell in his driveway along Van Brunt Boulevard Tuesday. “It about killed me I mean he’s our friend.”

Owens felt helpless while calling 911 while she watched her neighbor die. Her phone records show the seven minute 911 call, which she said was put on hold. A KCPD Officer drove by as she was frantically waiting for help.

“I had to go in the street yesterday and flag down the officer just so we could be seen so somebody would come pick this man,” Owen said.

The officer called dispatch on her radio for help.

It is a scenario that could get worse, if proposed city cuts are made to next years budget, said Smith in his September 30 blog post. 911 calls would be put on hold, a reduction in the number of property crimes detectives, closing down patrol stations and longer response times could be just some of the fallout from the proposed budget cut.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said the proposal is a long way from becoming reality.

City officials have found $59 million in potential overlap on administrative costs between the city and KCPD, which could offset the cuts.

“I am on the Board of Police Commissioners and so I imagine I will be privy to that information at some point,” Lucas said. “But I would hope over the six months we would all get together in a collaborative approach about how we can address the financing issues.”

KCPD Chief’s Blog can be found here.

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