Loss of Walmart could cost Roeland Park police officer jobs - KCTV5

Loss of Walmart could cost Roeland Park police officer jobs

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The Roeland Park City Council is struggling with how to make up for the significant loss of revenue as a result of a closing of the city's Walmart.

The Arkansas company will close its Roeland Park store in 2014 and open a new one close by in Mission.

City officials say the loss of Walmart will cost Roeland Park more than $700,00 in tax dollars.

The Roeland Park Police Department's entire budget is $1.4 million, which funds 15 full-time officers, three part-time officers and two clerks. Roeland Park's entire budget is about $5 million.

"It's kind of a horrible position to be in but we will deal with it and come out in the end with something that works," Councilman Marek Gliniecki said.

Mayor Adrienne Foster floated the idea of eliminating the police department and contract with the Johnson County Sheriff's Office to have deputies provide public service in Roeland Park. Foster did not respond to repeated requests from KCTV5 for a comment.

But her idea has created a firestorm and some are pushing back. Gliniecki, who is chairman of the council's public safety committee, said Foster should have done more due diligence before floating the idea.

"Without a discussion or groundwork or without context, it's just a big surprise and it affects the morale of the staff when it comes out of the blue like that," the councilman said. "They are a great department with a great chief and they really know how to do their jobs."

Gliniecki said he opposes eliminating the police department, but said city officials and council members will work with the mayor to craft a thoughtful and best response to the loss of revenue.

What do you think? Should Roeland Park eliminate its police department? Share your opinion on KCTV5's Facebook page. Click here.

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