This morning the Kansas City Chief of police offers a dire warning about the reality of proposed cuts to police that should resonate across the metro.
To wit . . .
THE CHIEF WARNS THAT CUTS WILL 'DEVASTATE' KCPD IN THE MIDST OF A HISTORIC HOMICIDE SPIKE!!!
Here's the word and the most important blog post of the day:
"We are already doing our part to help in these tough economic times. We’ve cut $5.6 million from the current fiscal year’s budget this summer. Like other city departments, we are being asked by the City Finance Department to provide scenarios for what an 11% budget cut would look like for fiscal year 2021-22. That’s nearly $26 million for us. To make that number, we would have to reduce about 400 employees, and the remainder would have to take two-week furloughs. Below I’ll outline some of the proposals we’re considering to meet those numbers, and then I’ll share what that means to the average person who lives, works or visits Kansas City . . ."
PROPOSALS TO MEET AN 11% REDUCTION
- Close North Patrol Division (which serves about 67,600 people across 84.8 square miles) and consolidate it with Shoal Creek Patrol Division; and close Central Patrol Division (which serves about 62,300 people across 17 square miles) and consolidate it with East Patrol. That removes one-third of police stations in Kansas City.
- Eliminate the Helicopter Unit, a Traffic Enforcement Squad, Community Interaction Officers, School Resource Officers, Police Athletic League, CAN Centers, social workers and a majority of Impact Squad officers, who proactively address crime. All of those officers would be reassigned to patrol and answer 911 calls.
- Reduce property crimes detectives.
- A hiring freeze and no new Academy classes in 2020 or 2021. We would lose more than 120 police officers through this.
- A reduction of 13 people at the Kansas City Regional Crime Lab.
- Eliminate numerous support staff positions in areas ranging from information technology to fleet operations.
Here's the money line:
"When you call 911, you will likely be put on hold . . . Response times will be longer. Response times will be greatest north of the River and in the Southland . . . At minimum, increase that by 11%."
You decide . . .