KANSAS CITY, MO – Budget cuts to Kansas City's Police Department have city officials coming up with ways to save money without impeding the department's effectiveness. Methods may involve merging Kansas City's police fleet administration with that of other municipal departments, such as human resources and information technology, according to the Kansas City Star.
Cathy Jolly, a former assistant prosecutor and longtime advocate of the Police Department, said Monday that the budget favored by a council majority for passage this week "is not going to take cops off the street," reported Star.
Jolly and others including City Manager Wayne Cauthen are pushing to save several million dollars by consolidating management positions within the Police Department and City Hall, a plan long opposed by the police. Chief Jim Corwin recently said the city staff needs to be managed "more professionally," according to Star.
Star editorial columnist Yael Abouhalkah commented that city staff and the Police Department should compete to see which one should take over combined functions such as fleet management, human resources, and information technology.
"If the police can provide better service at a lower cost, put its staff in charge. And vice versa if the city staff is more competent," Abouhalkah wrote.
Council member Ed Ford said Monday he would support the idea of "whoever can do it better," and Jolly said she'd be open to a consolidated function winding up in the Police Department, reported the Star.