TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! RAGE OVER MISSOURI SEN. KIKI CURLS ADDING "PROTECTION" FOR CHIEF FORTÉ TO KCPD PAY INCREASE LEGISLATION!!!
Kansas City Police Department salaries are being justifiably increased by the Missouri Legislature this session but a clause added on to the bill has stirred a great deal of controversy.
In fact . . .
SEN. KIKI CURLS ADDING ON "PROTECTION" FOR KCPD CHIEF FORTÉ HAS EVOKED A GREAT DEAL OF RAGE FROM KANSAS CITY INSIDERS ALONG WITH SUSPICION REGARDING HER MOTIVES!!!
First . . .
One of the most BRILLIANT KANSAS CITY INSIDERS offers this background:
"As you may know, throughout the history of the KCPD, the Chief serves at the pleasure of the Board. The Chief, unlike the line and staff, can be fired for any reason. The current statute dealing with the Chief of Police states that if the Board fires the Chief, he has no right of appeal."
More . . .
"Senator Kiki Curls tagged a little present to the Chief into a recently proposed Senate Bill that eliminates the "no appeal" language of the existing law. And by the way the existing statute has been the same since 1943 and hasn't ever been a problem for any prior Chief in 70 years."
NOW, ON THE MISSOURI SENATE WEBSITE . . . CHECK THE LANGUAGE OF SEN. KIKI'S ADD-ON LEGISLATION THAT MAKES AN UNPRECEDENTED CHANGE!!!
SCS/SB 224 - "This act increases the maximum salaries that may be paid to the chief of police and officers of the Kansas City Police Department.
In addition, this act repeals a provision of current law, which provides that actions taken by the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners in suspending, removing or demoting the chief of police are not subject to review by any court."
Sadly, it gets worse. It gets so much worse:
SEN. KIKI'S ADD-ON LEGISLATION HAS EVOKED SO MUCH RAGE BECAUSE IMPORTANT POLICE SALARY LEGISLATION IS USUALLY UNENCUMBERED BY POLITICAL MANEUVERING!!!
Here is important perspective on the placement of this add-on legislation from an AWESOME KANSAS CITY INSIDER . . .
"Historically, attaching anything to a bill that affects the pay of police officers is a huge no-no. Sen. Curls must have done it thinking that no one would vote it down because it is attached to the pay bill, which is precisely why no one in the Legislature has ever wanted anything attached to similar efforts. They've always wanted pay increase bills clean and without a reason for anyone to vote against it. But here it is."
Now, consider that Chief Forté has faced a great deal of challenges and, like it or not, his tenure has already been called into question by critics. While he may not be dismissed any time soon, this "protection" from Sen. Kiki provides more suspicion of dissatisfaction with the Chief.
And while I may not agree with this analysis, there's no denying that this "legislative protection" for the Chief stirs an already divisive situation when it comes to race-relations and the KCPD.
As always, it's only fair that AWESOME TKC TIPSTERS get their say:
"So, a Black State Senator wants to change a statute that has apparently been good enough for every Chief of Police in Kansas City for the past 70 years. Clearly she thinks that a law that has applied to 70 years of white Police Chiefs must be changed to protect the City's first Black Chief. Evidently, Sen. Curls believes that the Board who gave Chief Forté the job should not have the right to take it away from him if he doesn’t work out. And in trying to protect Chief Forté, Curls is jeopardizing the pay bill for all the men and women of the department."
While TKC is not ascribing any motives to the legislative actions of Sen. Kiki Curls, what is without question is that her add-on initiative to Kansas City Police pay increases was not only misguided and unnecessary but also raises uncomfortable suspicion that only serves to create further divisions around a City Department already struggling to foster a sense of cooperation among EVERYONE in our community.