QUOTES FROM LAST NIGHT'S DOWNTOWN LIBRARY DEBATE REGARDING LOCAL CONTROL OF THE KANSAS CITY POLICE!!!
The Citizens Association sponsored what is likely the most important political discussion we've had all year in Kansas City.
Here's what's most important . . .
Gauging public response and even according to moderator Dave Helling . . .
KANSAS CITY RESIDENTS SEEM TO OVERWHELMINGLY OPPOSE LOCAL POLITICAL CONTROL OF THE POLICE DEPARTMENT!!!
Here are just a few choice quotes from the discussion . . .
City Councilman Ed Ford: “What is it about Kansas City that makes us incapable of self-governing?”
Steve Glorioso: "Given the opportunity, over time, we see that Kansas City always votes for direct Democracy."
Former KCPD Chief Jim Corwin: "The community is the police, the police are the community. Kansas City needs to be informed about the choice the confronts them."
Former police board president Karl Zobrist: “You cannot put a price on integrity. This structure has served our city effectively for 70 years. Once you give this system up, you will not get it back."
There were a lot of comments from the crowd and former police officers but Councilman John Sharp provided the most insight into the current state of municipal government and police relations.
Councilman John Sharp: "Now, more than at any other time time in local history, we have better communication and cooperation with our police department."
Again, the crowd seemed skeptical of local control . . .
And the background that we discovered by attending this discussion is THE POLICE PENSION ISSUE REGARDING LOCAL CONTROL ISN'T REALLY ON THE TABLE AND WILL BE QUICKLY SACRIFICED AT THE ALTAR OF POLITICAL REALITY . . . Behind the scenes, Kansas City elected officials want to
redistribute reduce "reform" police pensions and that's a big part of the push for local control. KCPD wants no part of this move. A realization by voters that we're mainly talking political control and not any structural changes is important so that well-informed voters might realize the real nature of this effort.