KANSAS CITY TALKS POLICE DEPARTMENT LOCAL CONTROL THIS WEEK
A Kansas City promo for this coming week and the long journey toward political influence putting their fingerprints on yet another important institution . . .
Should Kansas City Locally Control Its Police Department?
Thursday, April 4, 2013, 6:00 p.m., Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., Kansas City MO
It may be called the Kansas City Police Department, but in fact our primary law enforcement organization is run a board of commissioners appointed by the governor.
Under state law, Kansas City's Police Department is controlled by a five-member Board of Police Commissioners . . . four Kansas City, Missouri residents appointed by the Governor plus the Mayor . . . who run our Police Department under a model going back to Civil War days intended to insulate law enforcement from politics and corruption.
A separate police board was the common practice in those days. But most cities, including St. Louis, have since gone to direct control of their police departments by their city councils. In fact, Kansas City is the only city in the nation today with a state-appointed police board.
Is everything really "up-to-date in Kansas City?" On the other hand, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it?" Come find out!
Moderator Dave Helling of The Kansas City Star and a panel of experts will examine the history, pros and cons of this arrangement vs. direct control by Kansas City's Mayor and City Council on Thursday, April 4, 2013, at 6:00 p.m., at the Central Library, Downtown, 14 W. 10th St. (Food and beverage reception at 6:00 p.m. Program begins at 6:30 p.m.)
Panelists include former Police Board Commissioner Karl Zobrist, former Police Chief Jim Corwin, City Councilman Ed Ford, and Steve Glorioso, the Kansas City campaign manager for last year's statewide vote changing the police governance law for St. Louis to local control.
Citizens are invited to bring questions and comments about local control of the Police Department, or email them in advance to email@example.com. A background fact sheet will be posted on the Citizens Association's and the Kansas City Public Library's websites the week before the forum.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage at 10th and Balitmore.
This is the second of four Citizens Project forums in 2013 exploring key public policy issues facing Kansas City. Future topics include the KCI Airport Terminal Replacement and Kansas and Missouri Economic Development Border Wars.
Over 200 people filled the auditorium for a full house at the first forum on Long-Range Financial Planning for Kansas City in January, so come early to get a seat!
The series is co-sponsored by the Citizens Association and the Kansas City Public Library.