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Officials discuss impacts of possible budget cuts on KCPD

Posted at 1:27 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:31:55-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City, Missouri, City Manager’s office has requested a 4.5% budget cut citywide due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

As Kansas City, Missouri, officials start to grapple with the budget impacts, city departments are putting together how revenue shortfalls could affect their budgets.

During Tuesday’s Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Police Commissioners meeting, officials discussed the impacts of a 4.5 percent cut to KCPD’s budget.

"To come up with these kinds of numbers, there is just only one way to do that and that is personnel," KCPD Chief Rick Smith said. "We have some things that we have talked about – implementing other programs to maybe get people to retire early, incentive packages, something of that nature."

While the city hasn’t mandated any cuts, the police department said a 4.5 percent cut would trim $10.6 million from its budget.

In a tweet, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas noted that 86.5 percent of KCPD’s budget goes to salaries. The $10.6 million shortfall could lead to the reduction in nearly 200 positions, closing a police station or reducing station staffing.

A city spokesperson cited impacts from the coronavirus pandemic as the reason behind asking departments to evaluate the impacts of a cut.

Smith said he is worried about the long-term effects this cut could have.

"I am worried because the moves we make today will effect this department not just today, but several years down the road," Smith said.

Any possible cuts would first be debated by the city’s Finance and Governance Committee, which is set to meet next Wednesday.

Discussion also is slated for next Thursday’s Kansas City, Missouri, City Council Business Session.