KC City Council adopts budget for ’17-’18 fiscal year, does not - KCTV5 News

KC City Council adopts budget for ’17-’18 fiscal year, does not increase police funding

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File photo. (AP) File photo. (AP)

On Thursday, Kansas City’s City Council adopted a budget for the 2017-2018 fiscal year.

The $1.59 billion budget commits millions to public safety, which is what residents said was a priority in the Citizen Satisfaction Survey and City Council’s 5-Year Citywide Business Plan.

The budget increases public safety expenditures by $19 million, which is a 4.6 percent increase. Public safety accounts for 76 percent of the General Fund operating budget.

The budget also allows for basic services to continue, modest raises for all city employees and lower projected increases for water bills. 

In response to the concerns of residents, the council lowered the requested rate increase to 1.5 percent for water and 9.5 percent for sewer, down from 3 percent and 13 percent, respectively.

The City Council’s adoption of the budget comes less than two weeks ahead of the proposed $800 million infrastructure maintenance bond issue that is on the April 4 ballot.

The entire budget can be found here.

The Fraternal Order of Police released a statement in response to the budget: 

We are extremely disappointed in the City Council’s decision not to approve a requested $1.7 million additional dollars to the police departments budget. It is a dangerous time to be a police officer and we are seeing more and more men and woman leave law enforcement to pursue other careers. Additionally, across the nation, police departments are having a tough time getting qualified applicants for recruiting classes. Right now the KCPD is short more than 100 officers. In the coming months we will lose dozens more. 

The requested money was needed to keep KCPD competitive with neighboring agencies. We have one of the best police academies in the country. We train men and woman to protect those who visit, live and work in Kansas City but yet we are losing the officers we train to nearby agencies more than ever before.

When looking at the top 12 largest law enforcement agencies in the metro Kansas City comes in first for starting pay/minimum salary. Kansas City drops to 4th in the ranking for police officers median salary and down to 10th for police officer maximum salary. This is unacceptable. Studies done at the request of the City Council prove pubic safety ranks towards the top of citizens priorities but yet we are being given the funding to hire and retain qualified officers.

We appreciate those on the council who supported us and who continue to support our officers. 

Brad Lemon       

President, FOP Lodge #99

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