KC police chief addresses budget concerns

Posted at 5:30 AM, Mar 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-29 07:20:31-04

Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forte says the department is in need of more money.

He says the 2016-2017 budget that city council approved last week does not keep them in mind, and will negatively impact the way they keep people safe.

Forte broke down all his concerns in a blog post on Monday.

Budget pressures, Forte says, are making it harder for the department to hire and keep officers, ultimately risking citizens' safety.

The budget includes money for them to hire 48 officers. The average turnaround is 58 officers a year. KCPD has already cut 60 law enforcement positions, leaving them with 89 vacancies.

On top of that, the department is operating with 100 civilian vacancies.

Forte says they've gotten creative in dealing with a tight budget and have cut costs in many other ways. 

Those pressures are building, and they need $6 million to give raises and health insurance increases. No one in the KCPD received a raise last year, Forte says.

What it all translates to - with fewer officers and the existing officers stretched thin, emergency response times go up.

$10 million of the budget was set aside to demolish the city's abandoned and most dangerous buildings, something Forte supports, but says won't get rid of all the crime.

To truly keep KC safe, he says they need more officers. 


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