Plan to change the way Kansas City’s police department is funded draws community support

Picture of police at crime scene in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day after Kansas City’s Police Board voted to explore legal action in response to new ordinances changing police funding, the ordinances gain community support.

The Urban Council, MORE2, the Presbyterian Urban and Immigrant Network and other community groups gathered outside City Hall Tuesday afternoon to show their support for the plan Mayor Lucas and the city council passed last week.

“Clearly, we are not getting a return on the millions of dollars we invest in KCPD each year. The outcomes do not measure up. Violent crime is high. Solve rates are low. The Mayor and Council have the right and the responsibility to exercise better stewardship over city resources,” Gwen Grant, president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, said.

The ordinances stipulate that 20% of the city’s general revenue would go to the Kansas City Police Department. That funding is required by the Missouri Legislature.

The mayor’s office said last week anything over 20% would go to a new Community Services and Prevention Fund.

The police department would need to request millions of dollars from the fund to operate. The City Manager and Board of Police Commissioners would need to approve those requests.

Members of the police board, four city council members, and Kansas City, Missouri Police Chief Rick Smith said they were not consulted about the new ordinances before Lucas announced, and the city council approved, the changes.

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