KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) – The battle over the Kansas City Police Department’s budget heads to the courts. A lawsuit has been filed to challenge the million dollar transfer plan.
It comes after another closed-door meeting of the Council of Police Commissioners.
The board of directors voted to take legal action against Mayor Quinton Lucas with a 4-1 vote. The meeting began around 10 a.m. on Friday and was voted on behind closed doors about a minute later.
Lucas was the only person on the board to vote against closing the meeting. He also voted against any legal action.
These are about two ordinances passed last week that take about $ 42 million from the KCPD budget and use it for a special crime prevention fund.
The lawsuit points out that a budget has already been adopted and approved. He says the new plan violates state law which grants the Council of Police Commissioners “exclusive management control.”
He claims that the new plan has serious consequences for the current operating budget and that cuts will be necessary.
He names the mayor, city council members who voted for the plan, city manager Brian Platt, finance manager Tammy Queen and the city as applicants.
Lucas immediately responded to the need for some control of the city by saying “the status quo is killing us”.
Lucas welcomes the legal challenge, saying the court will now assess the wisdom of Jefferson City controlling the Kansas City police.
Lucas also denies many allegations in the trial, including the claim that immediate police cuts will be needed.
You can read the full trial here.
President Bishop Mark Tolbert on behalf of the Kansas City, Missouri Board of Police Commissioners issued this statement:
“While I understand the frustration of the mayor, city council and some citizens of Kansas City, Missouri, I also understand that we must abide by laws enacted by our Missouri legislature.
In March 2021, the city allocated funds to the operating expenses of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department for the year. An unexpected change of $ 42 million to our budget risks disrupting services to our citizens.
I ask the mayor and the city council to withdraw the two disputed ordinances. Otherwise, the Board of Police Commissioners will be forced to continue injunctive relief in order to perform our duties as defined by the Missouri Legislature.
The Council of Police Commissioners is ready to negotiate next year’s budget, and we hope to continue the dialogue with the mayor, city council and other stakeholders. Our goal is to work together to strengthen and improve the services we provide to the diverse population of Kansas City, Missouri. “
Lucas released this lengthy statement on Friday:
“My friends, this week we have already lost three more of our siblings to homicide. We are in a violent crime epidemic, with record killings year after year. In my life we have had over 4,000 murders. in our city – a population larger than any high school in this region and state – all lives are lost and lost far too soon.
Despite this, the Council of Police Commissioners met twice this week, quickly shifting to non-public closed-door sessions, not spending a minute talking about violent crime in our community and how we can make it work. our safer neighborhoods. Although expected, today’s trial reflects a failure – a failure of our status quo – where power and politics attract the attention and energy of our state, not the toll of violence in our neighborhoods. and human life tragedies.
While the Council trial represents a call for the status quo, under the status quo we have lost children like LeGend Taliferro. Under the status quo, two people were killed on our streets yesterday.
Guys, we can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over again. The status quo is killing us.
As I have said before, Kansas City reluctantly embraces this litigation to shed light on and tear down a system that for generations has been unfair, unconstitutional and, sadly, unsuccessful.
I understand that instead of settling this in the legislature, a court will decide whether this system, which ignores the voice of the people and has not worked for decades, is good for Kansas City.
Over the past week, we have heard many distortions and distractions about the ordinances passed in council last week. It increases police funding.
It increases the neighborhood’s involvement in public safety, and it increases my accountability, the accountability of your elected officials to victims and neighborhoods plagued by decades of crime in Kansas City.
The only thing it diminishes is the power of Jefferson City to continue to look the other way as our community tries to shed these tragedies every day.
Over the past week, the City Manager has met with the Chief of Police in person and conversations are ongoing about how the department working with the city can make us safer. To the people of Kansas City and the ranks of the Kansas City Police Department: we are with you, we mourn with you, and those of us here in Kansas City will not use your pain, will not use your work to score political points. points, unlike too much at the state level.
Rest assured, every KCPD officer today will have a job next week, next month, and next year. We have funded a new academy class for others to join, to support the great work you do in our community. Do not believe those who seek to divide us when we all have a common goal: to keep the community safe. I support our law enforcement and I know that in this action, we are giving them the tools, the connections and the local voices to be safer in this city every day.
Kansas City will vigorously fight this effort to keep its hands tied in solving one of our greatest challenges in decades. Kansas City will fight to shed light on best practices and community collaboration with our police officers, rather than not knowing where taxpayer dollars are going, what we are doing and how the hell do we get out of this once and for all. all situation. We have a murder problem and it is getting worse. I am determined to resolve it, even if it takes us all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Our attorneys are currently reviewing the cases, will oppose any emergency motions, and assess all constitutional counterclaims, including the fact that this system underestimates the votes of all tax-paying Kansas citizens. “
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