Refund the police: Activists absolutely outraged that as crime explodes, city police department will be getting re-funded


KANSAS CITY, MO — The Kansas City Police Department will reportedly be getting $269 million in the upcoming fiscal year, but not everyone is thrilled about the police budget.

According to a KCUR report, the police department’s funding outpaces all other city agencies and includes an extra $33 million.

State law requires that the police department receive at least 20 percent of the city’s general fund, but Kansas City residents and politicians are disputing how the extra $33 million should be utilized.

Mayor Quinton Lucas wants to use the extra money to create a community policing and prevention fund.

However, residents such as John Simpson, a member of the local social justice organization MORE2, don’t think the police should get any of it.

"I'm being treated unfairly": Accused cop-killer complains that defense lawyers keep dropping his case

Simpson complained about the crime rate and police department. He told KCUR:

“We’ve kept putting more and more money into more officers. Our crime rate doesn’t really change and we still have a police department that doesn’t measure up.”

The mayor’s funding proposal would go toward increasing salaries and hiring more officers who would focus on community outreach and crisis intervention.

KCUR’s report noted:

“Nearly $4.7 million would go toward community outreach staff, which Lucas says could also support community action networks.

“An example would be the Westside Community Action Network, which pairs local residents with a code enforcement officer focused on property maintenance, two police officers and a neighborhood specialist partner to improve the Westside neighborhood.”

During a recent committee meeting, Lucas touted the idea that the entire community has an interest in prevention programs.

Like many other law enforcement agencies, the Kansas City Police Department has had to deal with an increase in violent crimes and staff shortages to address them.

KCUR reported:

“Discussions over the police department budget come in the wake of rising homicide trends in Kansas City.

“Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, whose 3rd District includes the department’s East Patrol Division, which has more homicides and 911 calls than any other patrol division, supports Lucas’ proposal — but only as long as it provides for reaching full police department staffing numbers, community policing and prevention, and effective violence reduction strategies.

“Staffing shortages have plagued the KCPD during the COVID pandemic. In 2021, it was short about 300 officers, which prompted it to cut down on its downtown foot patrols.

“Robinson also says the department needs to make sure it’s using the staffing and resources it already has at its disposal.”

Robinson reportedly questioned whether or not the police department was using its sworn officers “in a way that is efficient” and achieves the “number one goal of response time.”

As recently as last December, however, infrastructure concerns in Kansas City were a major priority for Mayor Lucas.

He told MSNBC:

“Priority number one is to address the crumbling infrastructure that we have…in every city in America — you have some bridge or some road that is incredibly dangerous and needs to be replaced today.”

Lucas also noted that public transportation systems need to be built up, including subways and buses.

MORE2 member Simpson prefers that the council create a fund to provide criminal justice reforms that protect the community and prevent the police from accessing that money, according to KCUR.

Simpson said:

“Use that excess [money] to make these changes and provide for these other kinds of programs — better education, mental health, housing transportation — and use it for that.

“And that fund would be controlled by the city. The police wouldn’t have anything to do with that.”

Talib Muwwakil, a member of the National Black United Front and the city’s police task force, also opposes the mayor’s ordinance.

Muwwakil complained about the police department:

“The Kansas City Police Department has been proven to be a very corrupt department, a very violent department. A very anti-human department.”

Muwwakil said that Kansas City needs to try different solutions centered on violence reduction and prevention.

For example, he suggested that addressing mental illness and “houselessness” could prevent violence:

“Let’s stop putting a band aid on bullet wounds. Let’s put some money to the side and address some mental illness.

“Let’s put some money to the side and address houselessness. Let’s put some money aside and address real issues that are plaguing our community, which leads to violence.”

Another issue is that Kansas City does not actually control its own police department, according to KCUR’s report:

“Unlike other major cities, Kansas City’s police department is state-controlled, a vestige of the [Thomas] Pendergast era.

“It’s governed by a five-member body, the Board of Police Commissioners, four of whose members are appointed by the governor. The fifth is the mayor, the sole elected member of the board.”

Mayor Lucas’ latest ordinance represents his latest attempt to exert some local control over the police department.

KCUR noted:

“In an attempt to wrest back some control, Lucas and the council last year voted to reallocate $42 million of the police budget to a community policing and prevention fund.

“The move drew swift backlash from police and GOP lawmakers, who decried it as ‘defunding the police.’ A Missouri judge ultimately stuck down the measure.

“But the consequences of that action by the council are still being felt. In reaction to the council’s move, the Missouri Senate recently passed a bill sponsored by Parkville state Senator Tony Luetkemeyer to increase the KCPD’s funding requirement from 20 percent of the general fund to 25 percent.

“Robinson says if that bill becomes law, the council would only have the ability to write a check for the department and give up what little control it has.”

Robinson told KCUR:

“If that is successful, I would just be voting to do what the state law says.

“And if people have issues with the police, if there are things that folks need to have a response for regarding policing, they have to go through the Board of Police Commissioners, because we just would not have any amount of direction or authority.”

According to the report, the police budget, which includes Lucas’ proposed $33 million fund, must be approved by the city council at its meeting on March 24.

If the council won’t approve the ordinance, it will then be removed from the budget.

We recently reported on the consequences of defunding the police. In New York City, an elderly woman was punched while reading a restaurant’s menu. Here is that report.

MANHATTAN, NY – In police-defunded New York City, visitors and residents alike are the daily victims of random, vicious attacks by the homeless and the heartless who roam the streets secure in the knowledge they will not be served justice.

Thursday afternoon, on the tree-lined streets of the wealthy and “safe” Upper West Side, an elderly woman was randomly punched in the head while she was perusing the menu outside Manny’s Bistro on 225 Columbus Ave.

The woman, who did not want to be identified, said she is 92 years old. She said of the attack:

“I suddenly got a terrible bang on the back of my head. I thought something had fallen on me.”

New York Police Department officers arrested a 35-year-old man for the horrific attack several blocks from the restaurant.

The victim said she was standing on the sidewalk looking at the menu when she was punched in the back of her head. She did not see her attacker but restaurant owner Manuel Colon did — and followed him.

He explained what happened next:

“Let me follow him and call 911 at the same time, instead of getting involved myself and get myself in trouble. One punch right in the back of the head for no reason whatsoever — just walking up and just decided to punch her.”

Colon said he stayed a few paces behind the assailant and watched as he harassed others along Columbus Avenue. He said the man, identified by police as Enrique Loeza, 35, was unsteady on his feet and appeared to be intoxicated. Colon added:

“I was just keeping an eye on him in case he was going to grab somebody else or hurt somebody else. Then I would’ve intervened, but I said ‘let me just watch him carefully’ ”

Colon pointed the suspect out to police, who had tracked him four blocks from the scene of the attack.

Loeza, a resident of New Brighton on Staten Island, was charged with one count of assault. It is not known if he was released after being booked. The suspect has a previous arrest for DWI, sources told the New York Post.

The victim, who said she was feeling OK after the assault, declined medical attention.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing!  (See image below.)  Thanks for being a part of the LET family!
Facebook Follow First


Submit a Correction
Related Posts