RAYTOWN, Mo. – 41 Action News has learned that 17 officers have left the Raytown Police Department since budget cuts were announced in October.
Through an open records request, we learned the resignations came from young officers as well as seasoned detectives and corporals.
Even officers whose jobs would not have been eliminated through the cuts turned in resignations.
Before the $2.7 million reduction, the department was authorized to retain 56 officers. The new budget lowered that number to 39.
A spokesperson for the department told 41 Action News they’re down to 34 officers, meaning they're now looking to hire.
A fear for job security and concern over the cuts was cited as a reason for the departures.
"I am concerned that they may not be able to respond as fast as they used to be able to," Kenneth Buford, who lives in Raytown, said in response.
In the meantime, controversy continues in City Hall. On Tuesday, the Raytown Board of Alderman overruled Mayor Mike McDonough's veto of an amendment giving the city administrator greater oversight of the police department.
In response to the budget crisis and cuts, concerned community members have created a group called Raytown Citizens for Good Government.
"There is currently so much he said/she said going on with social media, and it's difficult for any novice to understand the complexities of politics and managing a city. We want to create an organized focus and outreach to the community to help break down all the political speech into something everyone can understand; thereby making it easier to make informed decisions," Susan Vorbeck Brown, who serves as a spokesperson for the group, said.
RCGG wants to help more residents become involved in the political process while also holding elected officials accountable.