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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new year will bring new raises to employees of the Kansas City Police Department.

Kansas City’s Board of Police Commissioners unanimously approved raises for officers for the first time in three years.

A total of $2.6 million will be split among the department’s sworn officers and civilian employees. The pay increase is expected to take affect Jan. 14, 2022.

The department will pay for the raises with the salaries of unfilled positions and planned overtime that wasn’t needed.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted he’s “delighted” over the pay raises and plans to fight for raises for other city employees in the city’s next budget.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said that past accounting practices allowed the department to fund other items at the expense of police salaries.

The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners recently approved a resolution saying it would no longer take money earmarked for salaries and raises to solve other budget problems. 

Now the police board is expected to focus on the police department’s budget, something it will work with members of the city council to reach.

Many council members have said they want to make sure there is money to pay for the police department to be fully staffed in next year’s budget. The department is currently down about 180 officers.