KC Police Board submits budget that includes guaranteed raises for officers and employees

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Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) officer

FILE: Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) officer, Kansas City, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After months of arguments between Kansas City’s police department, the mayor, and members of the city council, about how to fund the police, the department may receive millions more in funding than originally requested. The budget approved by Kansas City’s Board of Police Commissioners Friday also includes guaranteed raises for officers and civilian employees.

Board members voted 4-1 Friday to forward the $281 million budget to the city manager’s office for adjustments and approval. Mayor Quinton Lucas abstained from the vote.

For years, the police department has used its salary account to pay for everything from lawsuit settlements to spare parts for the police helicopter. The budget approved Friday aims to prevent that from happening in the future. The new budget will provide about $135 million in salaries for police employees, with a commitment not to spend that money on anything other than uniformed officers and support staff.

The board also hopes higher pay will help stop a growing number of officers from leaving the job. Right now KCPD has 1,200 police officers but wants a total of 1,412. KCPD has requested to hold three police academies of 50 recruits this coming budget year.

Police Chief Rick Smith originally submitted a budget of about $272 million. The $281 million budget approved by the police board is about $8 million more than that request.

City leaders are required by state law to allocate 20% of the city’s general fund to the police department. So far the city has promised the department far more than that sum, but council members still have the ability to reduce funding.

The police department said it expects to meet with members of the Kansas City Council on Dec. 7, to discuss the requested budget.

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