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KCPD chief: Budget cuts would affect those most in need

Chief Smith shares 911 call map in blog post
KCPD
Posted at 8:51 PM, Jul 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-19 21:51:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residents who most need police services would be the ones most affected by budget cuts to the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, according to Chief Rick Smith.

KCPD is among the city services working to find a way to reduce its budget by 4.5% due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Smith said in a blog post written earlier this month that the cuts for police would equate to $10.5 million and personnel costs would “comprise a majority of the cuts.”

“Reducing police personnel will reduce service to the most economically disadvantaged of our residents,” Smith said. “They are the ones who request our help the most, and they are ultimately the ones who potentially will suffer the most from reduced police staffing.”

In the blog, he shared a 911 call map. which shows that the majority of calls from the first half of 2020 originate from "the most impoverished areas" of Kansas City.

Personnel reductions, according to Smith, would cause longer response times and “being put on hold when calling 911.”

However, he said that “current fiscal realities” should be balanced with public safety.