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Kansas City Police May Be Hiring Even More New Officers And Dispatchers

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Police Department could be getting even more money next year than first thought.

While most city department budgets will remain flat next year, KCPD is looking at a $5.6 million, a 2.2 percent boost.

Much of the increase will be used to hire 15 more officers and eight more dispatchers.

The department's 84 dispatchers are all working mandatory 12 hour shifts, according to Deputy Chief Roger Lewis.

The city council's finance committee, in addition to what was already in the proposed budget, has approved funds for hiring an additional nine officers and seven dispatchers .

Under the plan, those additional hires wouldn't come on for six months and would cost the city $394,500 in the 2018-19 fiscal year. The cost would double the following year because they would be working a full year.

Councilwoman Jolie Justus says she supports spending the extra money because KCPD is also adding social workers in all patrol divisions.

“The number one issue facing our city right now is public safety and violent crime," says Justus. “This is one way we can work on the enforcement side and the prevention side at the same time. And it’s money well spent.”

Even though, she admits, right now council doesn’t know where that money is going to come from.

The social workers are being paid for with a combination of city money and grant money.

Sam Zeffis KCUR's Metro Reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff

You deserve to know what your taxpayer dollars are paying for and what public officials are doing on your behalf – I’ll work to report on irresponsible government spending in the Kansas City area and shed light on controversies that slow government down. And when you hear my voice in the morning, you know you’re getting everything you need to start your day. Email me at sam@kcur.org, find me on Twitter @samzeff or call me at 816-235-5004.
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