KC police chief: Budget cuts would be ‘devastating’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The police chief in Missouri’s largest city says his department would have to cut staff by 400 people, close divisions and eliminate services to meet proposed budget cuts due to the coronavirus.

The Kansas City Star reports that Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith, in a blog post, wrote that the cuts would be “devastating.”

All city departments, including police, were asked to provide scenarios for what an estimated 11% budget cut would look like. That would amount to nearly $26 million for the police department.

At issue is a $60 million decline in tax revenue created by the fallout from the coronavirus. The city’s next fiscal year starts May 1.

Mayor Quinton Lucas said on Facebook that he does not “believe in cutting staff or closing stations.”