Dear City Council,
How could you cut the Kansas City Police Department budget by $12 million, despite the public outcry for public safety? The contention that the cut is $6 million with $6 million in grants is nothing but spin.
Police Chief Jim Corwin’s contention that officers will be pulled from the streets is not just spin. Civilians perform vital functions at the Police Department. Corwin will need to backfill those now-vacant positions with the only staff he will have left — officers. The Department was asked, by city management, to “civilianize” its staff, and now you are criticizing Corwin for that.
The various Council propositions, stated as mandates, about the Department budget details are more spin, just politics. The city funds the Police Department (the Department brings in a ton of revenue for you — a small detail you have chosen to ignore). The Department decides how to allocate those funds; the city does not.
So at least be honest: You are cutting the Police Department by $12 million. I think you can take Corwin at his word that fewer officers will be on the streets. The council has betrayed the public trust. And that’s what it will be remembered for.