All Missourians will decide Kansas City Police Department money issue

Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 2:27 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KY3) - There is only one police department controlled by the state, not by its local city government, and that’s the Kansas City Police Department.

That’s why a Kansas City issue will be on your ballot as you head to the polls on November 8.

Amendment 4 reads:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to authorize laws passed before December 31, 2026, that increase minimum funding for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners to ensure such police force has additional resources to serve its communities?

State and local governmental entities estimate no additional costs or savings related to this proposal.

If passed, Kansas city would be required to increase funding for its police department to 25% of its general revenue budget. It is at the required 20%.

Mayor Quinton Lucas says this requirement won’t majorly impact their budget, but it will on their voice.

“The amendment doesn’t really change much in terms of our total budget,” Lucus says. “It doesn’t give police officers pay raises. It doesn’t really even hire more folks. What it does is simply say Kansas City will have less voice on how those decisions are made.”

Senator Tony Luetkemeyer is leading those hoping for a yes vote. This came about after the mayor, and the city council attempted to move $42 million in funding to community intervention programs from within the police’s budget. This was ultimately stopped by a judge who said they didn’t have the authority to do it. The senator said in a later statement that this is being created to prevent future efforts to “defund the police.” He did not respond to our request for comment.

Mayor Lucus says he would like to see the state step in to help their police department with funding.

“Including from the billions they received in the American Rescue Plan Funding,” he adds.

And if you’re wondering why the state legislature controls Kansas City police funding: it’s a law from back in 1939 when corruption was high in the city for police and officials.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com