KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Rick Smith told neighborhood leaders Wednesday night there's an immediate need for more police officers.
Smith said it takes nearly a year to train a new officer and get that person on the street.
He and other department leaders spoke Wednesday night at a meeting with leaders from south Kansas City, Missouri, neighborhoods.
"The officer leave rate has put the department in a tight spot," Smith said.
Reasons range from the traumatic nature of the job to someone moving to a job driving a truck, the chief said.
Smith said another top priority is to reduce violent crime and get the city off the 10 most violent cities list.
"That has a very negative stigma," he said.
Even with all the challenges, Smith said in his 35 years in the department, people in Kansas City have always appreciated law enforcement.