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Details yet to come new KCPD Community Services and Prevention fund

KCMO city manager Brian Platt
Posted at 5:43 PM, May 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 18:43:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council voted to move just over $42 million from KCPD's budget into a Community Services and Prevention fund.

Mayor Quinton Lucas and other city leaders said what the city is doing to address violence right now is not working.

"There was a clear direction, which is, city council is actually interested in increasing funding for the Kansas City Police Department, but also increasing accountability, increasing prevention, increasing so much of that neighborhood involvement that we want from our police department," Lucas said.

Next week, City Manager Brian Platt is set to start negotiations with the Board of Police Commissioners, which controls the police department, and the department itself.

Platt said he had a chance to speak with KCPD Chief Rick Smith on Friday morning.

"As a manager of other departments, it's fairly straight forward to say, 'We need to make changes in public works. Our plowing operations need improvements and so here are the things we are going to do and we can do it fairly quickly.' That hasn't been the case with KCPD and we think this is an opportunity to have these discussions," Platt said.

Many people want to know what exactly the Community Services and Prevention fund is.

Platt couldn't say if the city will work with specific organizations, but that police commissioners will have a say on who is involved in the discussions.

Platt added he wants to include as many people as possible in these negotiations, such as community stakeholders, activists, city council members, and the police, of course.

"It's up to me to gather input from all the stakeholders and make sure we're putting the best policy in process forward for people of Kansas City," Platt said.

He said Friday he does not have a list of demands.

Corey's Network, an organization that helps families navigate what comes next after their loved one is murdered, hopes these discussions will include KCPD's solve rate.

"I really think they need to go back and look at all the open cases," said Shelly Schuman, president of Corey's Network. "Right now we have case solve rate of 43 percent, I think that's the last statistic I read. That means there is a resounding number of cases remain unsolved. And so the perpetrators of those crimes, are they committing more?"

Schuman said getting repeat offenders off the streets will help stop the cycle of violence.

"I do believe there's a place for raising people to expect something different. Children that grow up around crime are more inclined to look the other way when it happens or consider that as part of the norm. We need to break that cycle of the norm," Schuman said.