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KCPD Has Too Many Command Staff, Sworn Officers Doing Civilian Work, Study Finds

Sam Zeff
KCUR 89.3
A staffing study found KCPD has too many managers, and not enough officers on patrols.

The Kansas City Missouri, Police department has too many people in management positions, and too many sworn officers in jobs that could be done by civilians. That’s according to a staffing study of the department presented to the Kansas City Council on Thursday.

Richard Brady, with Matrix Consulting Group, said KCPD needs to put more officers back on patrols and bulk up staffing in other areas.

“In the lab for example, right now, you’ve got backlogs of thousands of cases that you have no hope of catching up on in any reasonable time frame," Brady said.

Additionally, Brady said there are many positions in the department that could be filled with civilians.

The study suggests moving sworn officers out of those positions and back onto the streets, rather than simply hiring more officers. 

City Manager Troy Schulte says he's had time to analyze the 300-page report, which was released last month. He plans on sitting down with new KCPD Police Chief Rick Smith as soon as he’s sworn in on Aug. 15.

“I think the whole issue is, can we get out of having uniformed, sworn personnel doing, essentially, civilian work and better deploy those resources,” Schulte said. 

Nearly 80 percent of the city's general fund operating budget is focused on public safety, which includes police and firefighters. 

Among other recommendations, the study suggested cutting back on two-officer patrol cars, except in special circumstances.  

It also recommends gradually reducing the number of management positions, and implementing a system to track performance to better address issues. 

Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster at KCUR 89.3. Connect with her on Twitter @larodrig

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
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