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Kansas, Missouri Prosecutors Warn Of Cuts To Law Enforcement

Dan Verbeck

In an almost unprecedented public airing, the chief  federal prosecutors for both Missouri and Kansas have warned about outcomes they expect if law enforcement budget cuts continue into the next fiscal year.

Tammy Dickinson for the Western District of Missouri, which includes Kansas City, said job furloughs and tightened budgets will hamper the fight against crime.

Dickinson said a little realized consequence is that reducing staff will actually cut federal income, because fewer staff won’t be able to try cases that bring in multi-millions of dollars.

The office is described by Dickinson as a revenue generator — $15 million last year, another $13.2 million so far this year.

“We are profitable to the United States government and we need to continue to do that," she said. "We need to continue to collect the money of the fraudsters, the take away from our government. “

Dickinson said her office needs to continue, “ to collect money on behalf of our victims and sequestration needs to be fixed by cutting budgets with a scalpel and not an axe.”

The U.S. Attorney for Kansas, Barry Grissom echoed Dickinson.

His office took in more money than it cost to run last year-- “we took in just hair under $12 million last year.  So like the Western District of Missouri.  Like most US. Attorney’s offices throughout the country, we have in fact paid for ourselves in hard dollars. Not merely judgments but money actually brought back into the treasury."

The two federal prosecutors   say they will take different approaches to let Congress know of their worries.

Dickinson of Missouri said she would give her facts to the two Senators and any members of the House who will listen. 

Grissom was more comfortable letting his remarks find their way to members of Congress.

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