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?
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.