We hear a lot about activists demands and social justice crusades powered by mobile phone apps. Meanwhile, voices from neighborhoods and communities are increasingly ignored.
It seems that quite a few elected officials mistakenly believe that social media likes & shares are more relevant than consensus amongst residents who have invested in their communities.
Accordingly . . .
A recent conversation about police recruitment and retention has resonated on the South side.
Here's the money line and economic info about the ONGOING fight over the police budget . . .
The total appropriated budget has indeed fallen by a total of $9,603,918, from $266,377,193 in 2020 to $256,773,275 in 2021 (effective May 1). These cuts come off the heels of a year where Kansas City saw a record number of homicide cases (176 according to the department’s data for 2020).
Of this decreased 2021 allotment, 86.9 percent, or $7,407,339, will come out of personnel costs — a fiscal category which includes personal services plus benefits such as worker’s compensation and life insurance.
“At this funding level, the Department will not be able to hold academy classes or provide pay increases,” Deputy Chief Karen True wrote in a letter addressed to city hall, dated April 1, 2021.
These concerns were echoed in an Aug. 16 forum hosted by the Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association and partners where Smith declared that he would like to see Kansas City come off of the top-ten most violent cities list. That goal has been compromised, said the fourth-year chief, by unexpected leave rates paired with a difficulty to recruit and properly train officers to fill these vacant positions.
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com news link . . .
In a tumultuous start to the decade, the has found itself struggling to retain and recruit officers - a development that Chief Richard Smith attributes in large part due to budget constraints handed down from officials in city hall.
Original title of this post . . . "Defund Police Crusade Impedes Kansas City Crime Fighting"
Here's an important note from the FOP on the situation . . .
"Milestone moment today. We hit 1200 sworn members, the first time in almost 25 years we have had so few law enforcement in this city. In 2007 we had about 1460 sworn so we are in a complete free fall. With no new academy classes in almost two years we will surely fall to a 30 year low by January 1st. It will take a decade to fix this mess."
"Just how do we recruit to this department when we haven’t had a pay raise in three years?"
Developing . . .