KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While the overall Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department budget for the upcoming fiscal year will likely be a lengthy debate, the amount of the budget allocated to staff salary will not be.
On Friday, the Board of Police Commissioners adopted a resolution to assure roughly $135 million of whatever budget is approved will be dedicated to KCPD salaries and cannot be diverted to other areas.
According to Mayor Quinton Lucas, that number would allow for 1,412 officers, which he said is a 200 increase over the current roster. The 2020 annual report shows there was 1,288 personnel at that time, a 75 person decrease from 2019.
Lucas, a member of the BOPC, also said the overall proposed budget for KCPD sits at roughly $281 million right now. The City Council could - and likely will - change that number when they take up the full budget, but the $135 million for salaries will remain untouched in that debate.
If the full amount being asked for were to be approved, it would be the largest KCPD budget adopted in at least the last five years.
The adopted 2020/2021 fiscal year budget stood at a little over $232 million. That was the highest adopted budget since the 2016-2017 fiscal year.
Looking at the adopted budget versus the actual budget, in 2019-2020, the adopted budget was $225,791,018, while the actual budget ended up being $226,610,384 - so roughly $1 million more than planned.
Most of the KCPD budget goes toward salaries, benefits and pensions for employees.
Budgeting for KCPD has been a topic of contention this past year as the city tried to create an ordinance that would put part of the KCPD budget into a fund where the department would have to request needed money.
Since KCPD is overseen by the BOPC, which is a state-appointed governing body, a judge ruled that ordinance violated state law.
KCPD released the following statement about the budget approved in Friday's meeting:
"The Police Department and the Board of Police Commissioners have put much effort into creating the fiscal year 2022-2023 budget.
"Today, the Board voted to approve the proposed budget submitted to them by KCPD Staff. The requested budget will now be submitted to the City Manager as the next step in the budget process.
"The BOPC believes the requested budget, which includes pay raises for employee retention and funds for new recruits, will provide the necessary resources in order to keep Kansas City and its community safe.
"We are early in the budget process and look forward to meeting with the City Council on December 7, 2021, to discuss our requested budget and continue the collaboration to meet the needs of our community.
"The BOPC would like to thank the police department staff for their hard work in helping prepare this budget."