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Too Early To Claim Jail Demise

kcur photo by dan verbeck


Kansas City, Mo. – It's been more than half a year since the Kansas City Police Department started serious consideration of closing its short-term jail on the 8th floor of headquarters downtown. By year's end 2009, it hadn't gotten past the bare planning stage.

This is about the all-business, no-frills lockup on the 8th floor of the main police building east of city hall. It's where people who are arrested in Kansas City go to wait for questioning or charges or release. Forty thousand go through it every year.

Police Chief Jim Corwin and the Board of Police Commissioners want it closed and moved to become part of county jail. Most focus this year was on closing the Municipal Correctional Facility. The detention lockup was largely ignored. Commissioner Mark Thompson noted at a December board meeting, nobody knows what it will cost-- "We have the jail up above and so it doesnt necessarily, quote-unquote, cost us anything. And at the new facility there will be a payment, a lease payment, plus there's some renovation and i think that's part of what we're trying to figure out. What's the budget there?"

One holdup in talks with Jackson County jail officials is a police need for interrogation rooms, space that seems hard to find.


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