Right now there's a great deal of misdirection and politicking regarding the police budget.
Most of it's spin and bad political theater but there are a few worthwhile considerations that we've heard this week . . .
1. Amendment 4 is NOT unfunded mandate . . . Actually, the vote guarantees funding. This argument is easy to fact check but opponents are counting on a lack of curiosity amongst the people they hope to convince.
2. Like it or not, police and (most) their supporters haven't been great about explaining the police budget for a couple of reasons . . . Overall this issue is a slam dunk (polling at 64%) so they don't really have to AND detailed budget conversations typically cause people to tune out . . . Overall it's just better to blame racism, injustice or the constitution and hope the prejudice of the populace guides the conversation.
In fact, it seems that not even the Mayor REALLY understands how the police budget works.
Here's an example . . .
Lucas tweeted in July that KCPD has left anywhere from $5.4 million to $13.5 million of its budget unspent every year since at least 2018, according to a recent audit of the police budget.
When asked if he knew where the money came from in the budget, Lucas said, “The short answer is no, I don’t. But, they’ve given me a few different ideas.”
He said he suspects that a significant amount of the unaccounted-for money goes toward legal settlements, such as brutality claims. KCPD maintains a “Self-Retention General Subsidiary Fund,” established in 1991, which in this year’s budget totaled $6.8 million.
According to KCPD’s budget documents, the department uses the self-retention fund if legal claims exceed what is already budgeted for that purpose in the police general fund.
Lucas said KCPD already has a separate $4.8 million line in its main budget to pay for lawsuits.
Read more via www.TonysKansasCity.com link . . .
Delivered every Tuesday and Thursday morning A donation to The Beacon goes beyond the newsroom. We amplify community voices, share resources and investigate systems, not just symptoms. The Beacon in your inbox. In-depth reporting delivered every Tuesday and Thursday morning. By state law, Kansas City is required to spend at least 20% of its total revenue on its police department.