KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Police commissioners are meeting this afternoon looking for common ground on how best to spend taxpayers’ money fighting crime.
Civic leaders want commissioners and city council members to stop fighting over police spending.
This year this city can’t force the police board to negotiate over how to spend money on law enforcement.
Still, Mayor Quinton Lucas says one of his top priorities is getting the police department up to its budgeted staff level of more than 1,400 officers.
Right now, police currently have only 1,200 officers, and that number continues to drop.
The Fraternal Order of Police says 47 cops have left the force so far this year and the union predicts at least 25 more may join them before the start of 2022.
As a result, there may be a push to offer incentives in next year’s budget to retain officers.
The FOP says keeping an officer on the job is easier and less expensive than recruiting and training a new one.
Commissioners and the city council may consider offering lump sum bonuses, pay raises and other incentives to shore up the ranks.
There’s also concern over not being able to provide adequate security at KCI Airport, as police commanders seek to move airport police officers to patrol northland neighborhoods instead.