KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A group of Kansas City, Missouri, council members will get their first look at the police department’s proposed budget Tuesday morning.
The department will present its budget request to the city’s Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee at 9:30 a.m. in the council chambers on the 26th floor of City Hall.
The meeting is open to the public.
The requested budget prioritizes salaries.
It asks for $273 million, a six percent increase from its current level. More than 90 percent of the money will go to salaries, benefits and pensions.
The budget also sets aside money for replacing radios, cars and other equipment.
In previous budget talks, police Chief Rick Smith said he would like to have 200 more officers on duty, bringing the city’s total to roughly 1,400 sworn officers. His proposal calls for salary increases and changes to the current pay scale to reach that employee level.
Hiring has been a challenge for police departments nationwide.
The Board of Police Commissioners reached a recent agreement to set aside $135 million strictly for salaries.
Earlier this year, a majority of city council members voted to change KCPD’s current budget.
A judge ruled they couldn’t make that change in the middle of a fiscal year, but left the door open to those changes taking place during the budget planning phase happening now. Some council members will more than likely push back on the chief’s proposal Tuesday.
There will be a second meeting to continue discussing budget matters later this week. Thursday at 10 a.m. the Board of Police Commissioners will meet with city council members. That meeting takes place at KCPD headquarters and is also open to the public.
The city adopts its final budget in March.