Debate continues over Raytown budget that would lead to reductio - KCTV5

Debate continues over Raytown budget that would lead to reduction in police force

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RAYTOWN, MO (KCTV) -

The Raytown Police Department said it will have to eliminate 17 police officers as a result of proposed budget cuts. 

Police Chief Jim Lynch released an open letter on Monday addressing the proposed $3 million in cuts. 

Lynch said 85 percent of the budget is made up of personnel costs. 

Along with the 17 police officers, Lynch said the department would eliminate 10 full-time civilian personnel positions and three part-time jobs, bringing the total to 30. 

"It was important to inform everyone that may be impacted then, and it is even more important now," Lynch said. "My staff and I have poured over every possible option to maintain basic law enforcement service within the budget constraints."

He added that the department would see a reduction in detectives and the elimination of "all civilian jail personnel" and all "community services activities." 

The full letter: 

Earlier this month, I learned that the upcoming budget of the Police Department will be cut by just over 3 million dollars. 85% of our annual budget is made up of personnel costs, including jail staff, dispatchers, detectives, police officers, and so on. We knew that such a significant budget reduction would equate to drastic reductions to staffing and substantial impacts to public safety service. At that time, I asked for patience as we determined just what that meant to our staffing levels and the service that we strive to provide to our community. I hold a great deal of responsibility to the people of Raytown, even when it involves bad news. It was important to inform everyone that may be impacted then, and it is even more important now.

My staff and I have poured over every possible option to maintain basic law enforcement service within the budget constraints.

In order to meet the budget mandate of the upcoming budget period, effective November 1, 2017, the following 30 positions will have to be eliminated:

  • 17 Full-time sworn police officers of various assignments (brings the number of sworn officers from 56 to 39)
  • 10 Full-time civilian personnel (brings the number of civilian personnel from 21 to 11)
  • 3 Part-time civilian personnel (brings the number of part-time civilian personnel from 3 to 0)

Our total authorized (full-time) staffing will be reduced from 77 to 50. The elimination of those positions will result in the reduction of police service, including:

  • · Elimination of all civilian jail personnel
  • · Elimination of all Community Services activities (Annual Safety Fair, Coffee with a Cop, Copcicles for kids, etc.)
  • · Reduction of the number of Detectives

Last week, those cuts to staff, and the resulting service reduction, were presented to the finance committee, which included the City Administrator and four Aldermen. I requested a smaller cut to the budget, a compromise, to be able to maintain service levels. At the time of posting this letter, the Board’s budget reduction mandate has not changed.
Today, I spoke with my staff, including the individual members whose position will be eliminated. Each one of them is trained and experienced and has served with honor, integrity and professionalism. I am proud of each and every one of them. Their absence will be felt by everyone.
Our mission at the Raytown Police Department has always been to provide a safe community for the people that live and work in Raytown, and I am proud to work, and to have worked, with our dedicated men and women that do so.

City leaders say last year they were 1.2 million dollars in the hole and reserves are running out. 

Those officers that could lose their jobs have been identified. Several of them have already applied for other law enforcement jobs.

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