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KC police handing out fewer traffic citations, will impact municipal court

Posted at 2:14 PM, Feb 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-19 15:17:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — According to Kansas City’s newest budget proposal for the year, police are handing out fewer traffic citations, which is causing a negative trickle-down effect in city government.

Fines decreased by almost $5 million. The priorities for police are homicides and violence.

That is impacting the folks who spend a lot of time at Kansas City’s municipal court.

“We may have to look at some reductions in transitional housing or bus passes that we give to our specialty court participants,” spokesperson Megan Pfannenstiel said.

Specialty courts, like drug, veterans, and mental health, will see a $279,000 decrease in funds, because they depend a lot on revenue from citations. 

Those courts provide resources and programs for people trying to overcome drug addiction or other setbacks in life.

The municipal court has seen a $10 million hit over the last five years. They might have to look more to partners, grants, and the general fund to make up the difference.

“The court is going to work with all partners to make sure the impact is at least felt by people who need it the most,” Pfannenstiel said.

Meanwhile, in the Volker neighborhood, residents are noticing the need for more police officers to bust speeding drivers.

“I think we could use more speedbumps on Pennsylvania. And you often see pretty fast traffic on Valentine as well,” resident Joel Hoffman said.  

The Volker Neighborhood Association is trying to figure out the problem themselves, as most have said traffic problems are their highest concern.

Just a couple years ago, a few residents started a campaign to get drivers to slow down by posting signs around the neighborhood reading “Drive like your kids live here.”

Patrick Faltico with the Volker Neighborhood Association applied for a PIAC grant to fund a traffic study to address the hot spots.

“We plan to begin conducting traffic site studies this spring to identify affordable traffic solutions where possible. We’re also collaborating with Better Block KC and the city’s Public Works Department,” Faltico said.

The city’s budget is not final. Several public hearings are coming up for folks to weigh in.

  • Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9-11 a.m. at Guadalupe Center Auditorium, 5123 E Truman Rd.
  • Saturday, March 4 from 9-11 a.m. at R.B. Doolin Center, 1900 Northeast 46th St.
  • Thursday, March 8 from 12:30-2:30 p.m. at the KCPD Community Room, 1111 Locust St.