Mayor responds to criticism and defends police budget ordinances

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After a surge of criticism over the reallocation of funds from the KCPD budget, Mayor Quinton Lucas defended the ordinances Saturday. 

Mayor Lucas said this initiative is personal. 

“Maybe because it’s just personal to me and probably a lot of the folks here. We have known people who have been murdered,” Lucas said. “We have lived in neighborhoods where people have been murdered and I’m not going to just sit back and say let’s keep doing the same thing Kansas City. We will make a difference on that, we have to.“

Friday a statement from Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s spokesperson labeled this initiative as an attempt to defund the police. 

Governor Parson believes in law and order, which means there must be brave men and women in uniform willing to enforce the law and protect victims. It is imperative that communities support our law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep Missourians safe. As violent crime continues to be a problem in Kansas City, any effort to defund the police is dangerous and irresponsible.

Mayor Lucas said reallocating is very different from defunding, and those who say otherwise are purposely spreading misinformation.

“So, I think it is very clear that to the extent that you have heard voices that are calling it defund those are voices that want to distort,” Lucas said.

“Getting to the heart of the matter” was founded by Pastor Darron Edwards to advise KCPD on police reform. 

Edwards said since the announcement, several high-ranking officers have voiced their frustration. 

However, he urged them to trust the change.

“I have continued to say, ‘Change will bring trepidation, but give that change a chance.'”

Edwards said this initiative finally empowers those in the community to help change it.

“The answer to the problems are the people who are plagued by the problem. The people who are plagued by the problem know the best answers to the problem,” Edwards said. “What they don’t have are the resources and the dollars to get the job done.”

Some Missouri lawmakers are calling for a special session to stop Lucas’ plan, but the decision to hold a special session would be up to Governor Parson.

FOX4 reached out to Governor Parson for comment but he declined.

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