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A decade of dollars: Taking a look at KCPD's budget

KCPD
Posted at 9:53 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 00:13:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department has seen a steady increase in the amount of funding it receives throughout the past decade.

A former official said they're thoughtful about how they allocate that money in the first place. Leland Shurin, former president of board of police commissioners, used to vote on how KCPD would spend the money the city gave the department.

"Every contract comes to the board," Shurin said. "It's negotiated first by the appropriate people, reviewed by the lawyers for the police department and then scrutinized."

But the board doesn't just say give us this money and we'll figure out how to spend it later.

41 Action News pulled the city budgets from the past decade to see how much is spent on police.

From 2008-13, the department received roughly $200 million dollars. During two years of that time period, KCPD actually spent less than expected.

Then from 2014-18, the city gradually increased KCPD's funding to about $250 million.

The past three years have hovered between $260 million and $270 million.

"90-some percent of the budget goes to pay the men and women that work for the police," Shurin said.

For roughly seven years, the department has mentioned on the budget it submits to the city what the money would go toward and some of the highlights on the money already spent.

"We do see those numbers when they come through," Dan Fowler, District 2 council member, said. "I remember my first-term, money was not spent the way we want it to be spent by a prior administration, and we certainly had very severe issues about it. But we didn't know about it. And we do have that kind of ability to get that kind of information now if we wish."

Shurin said they realize they are spending "hard-earned tax dollars."

"We wanted – we've always wanted – to do it right," Shurin said.

With the vote that occurred, KCPD will operate on a budget similar to its 2015 budget, when the number of homicides increased following a record-low year.