KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson’s office is speaking up one day after Mayor Quinton Lucas and the city council passed a dramatic shift in funding for the Kansas City Police Department.
Lucas and majority of the council passed two ordinances Thursday restructuring the police budget and how funds are allocated.
The state requires 20% of the city’s general budget go to the police department, but now anything beyond that they’ll need approval from the city for how it’s used.
Lucas said more than $42 million over that 20% will go into a Community Services and Prevention Fund. The city manager and Board of Police Commissioners will negotiate on how that money will be used. Only the department can contract for the funds.
The mayor’s plan was met with swift political reaction Thursday, and it’s continued Friday.
The governor’s spokesperson, Kelli Jones, released the following statement on his behalf:
“Governor Parson believes in law and order, which means there must be brave men and women in uniform willing to enforce the law and protect victims. It is imperative that communities support our law enforcement officers who risk their lives daily to keep Missourians safe. As violent crime continues to be a problem in Kansas City, any effort to defund the police is dangerous and irresponsible.”
Lucas has insisted this is not a defunding of the department, but rather reallocating the money.
“If you take money from something and put money back into that very same thing, then you haven’t actually defunded or taken away from anything,” Lucas said Friday morning on Fox News.
Some Missouri lawmakers are already calling for a special session to stop Lucas’ plan, but the decision to hold a special session would ultimately be up to Parson.