KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Another push to secure the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department’s funding for this next budget cycle.
It all comes against the backdrop of Chief Rick Smith’s announcement that he’ll retire in 2022 and the ongoing battle over how to fund the department.
Northland State Senator Tony Luetkemeyer plans to file a bill in Jefferson City to increase the funding the city is required to give the department from 20% to 25%.
“So, this is designed to make sure we’re backing the brave men and women of this department,” Luetkemeyer said.
“Making sure we’re putting public safety first in Kansas City and making sure we keep the citizens of our region safe. I see what the biggest systemic threats are to this community and the economic wellbeing on Kansas City, and I think it’s the increase in crime.”
Luetkemeyer argues taking money from the police department will not help the crime issue in Kansas City.
That’s why he is introducing a bill expected to be pre-filed Wednesday.
Earlier this year, Mayor Quinton Lucas, and majority of city council members, passed two ordinances to reallocate $42 million from the department’s current budget.
A judge eventually ruled against that plan because council and police board had already approved the city budget for the year.
“This is regressive in the way that its approached and it’s unfair to Kansas Citians,” Councilwoman Melissa Robinson said.
Robinson said the bill did not surprise her, but it is not a way for the city to progress.
“I still believe fundamentally that that is not a fair approach because again that singles out Kansas City, Robinson said.