Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Chief Corwin: No layoffs but KCPD will lose officers on the streets

Posted By on Wed, Apr 29, 2009 at 9:04 AM

click to enlarge Chief Jim Corwin
  • Chief Jim Corwin

The Kansas City Police Department won't be laying off officers -- or grounding the helicopter -- but the department will be losing officers on the street, Police Chief Jim Corwin wrote on his blog after the budget was approved yesterday. The cuts attempt to make up for a $15 million shortfall. 

The KCPD will lose officers to retirement in the next month and normal

turnover, Corwin wrote. The department is also under a hiring freeze

(down 21 officers from last year).
And the training of those 31 recruits in the police academy won't be kept unless the department gets a

federal grant (and just about every department has applied for them).

"A loss of officers will be felt immediately on June 1 when we must

take 18 of them off the street to staff detention units at the patrol

division stations," Corwin warned. "To cut overtime pay in the Headquarters Detention Unit, we have to pull all of the (civilian) detention officers downtown to Headquarters. We simply don't have enough money to pay the overtime. As I had said would happen, cutting -- in this case just freezing -- civilian jobs will pull officers off the streets to do them."

So what's the KCPD cutting?
 

From yesterday's and today's editions of the Star

  • cutting through attrition, retirements and leaving positions open ($4.1 million)
  • postponing the police academy class ($1.9 million)
  • reducing overtime ($750,000)
  • laying off the next police academy class in October -- unless grant money is found ($1 million)
  • putting off buying new vehicles ($1 million)
  • cutting health insurance benefits ($770,000)
  • taking away take-home vehicles June 1 ($128,000)
Corwin also recalled the public safety sales tax in 2002 and the

promises of 20 additional police officers a year and the increased

number of officers has led to better response times and less crime.

"I fear that the budget cuts we got from the city will force us to undo

our last three years of progress," Corwin wrote. "Public safety comes

with a dollar figure, and ours has been slashed."

Corwin also talked consolidation with the city, but "we have repeatedly

requested business plans from the City Manager's Office on what such a

consolidation would look like but have never received a plan. (Our

department, however, has provided several such plans to the city. The

latest was our plan to take over the policing of KCI Airport. The city

declined to act on that report)."

Not really comforting news in the Killa City. Number of homicides so far this year: 40.

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