KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As a Northland mother, and the wife of Kansas City police officer, Ashley Bryant spends a lot of time thinking about safe neighborhoods.
“We don’t have a ton of officers up here,” Bryant told FOX4. “And I don’t think that we have enough resources for the entire city to begin with.”
Bryant said she applauds the announcement that four state lawmakers from the Northland are calling for a special legislative session in Jefferson City over the issue of police funding.
Last week, Kansas City leaders approved a proposal to reallocate $42 million from the police budget into a community services fund. The money will still be accessible to the Kansas City Police Department, but they’ll have to come to agreement with the city manager about how they’ll spend it.
The four councilmembers from KC’s Northland were blindsided by the swift action at City Hall. Many residents were, too.
“I was shocked,” Bryant said. “I was shocked that city councilmembers, particularly in the Northland, were not privy to this information because we are a part of Kansas City as a whole. I was completely shocked.”
State Rep. Josh Hurlbert, R-District 12, is one of the four lawmakers urging Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to convene a special session on the issue.
“We’re pretty unified up here that this was a bad move on the part of the mayor and the city council,” Hurlbert said. “These cuts need to be restored and authority put back to the statutory origin, which is the board of police commissioners.”
On the latest episode of FOX4’s 4Star Politics, Mayor Quinton Lucas said the funding reallocation is more about direct oversight of city expenses, not rolling back police services.
“This is not defund. You will all see at the end of the year the police budget will have increased,” Lucas said.
“That $42 million community services fund goes only to the Kansas City Police Department,” Lucas said. “The challenge in some of the media accounts is that it has sounded as if it goes under anything under the sun that Quinton Lucas thinks of.”