Special Committee for Legal Review Considers Local Control

Abby Hoover
Managing Editor


The legal review committee considered Ordinance 200496 at its Tuesday, July 21, meeting.


The ordinance calls for an election on Nov. 3, 2020 to obtain public authorization as a City legislative priority to establish the pursuit of a state legislative or referendum action that would restore local control of the Kansas City Police Department (KCPD).


The control would be in the hands of Mayor Quinton Lucas and the City Council, rather than the current control of the department by the Board of Police Commissioners, which is a committee of four members appointed by the governor and includes the mayor.


The city government has not had full control and governance of its police department since 1939, and is currently the only city in Missouri with this model.


In February, the council adopted a resolution to create a task force on violent crime and exploring local control, to which the mayor appointed members in May. Local protests amplified the voice of members of the public asking for local control.


Lucas said a vote in November would gauge the public’s opinion on the issue, although the vote would not cause any direct action.


The committee did not vote to make a recommendation on the ordinance, using the time solely for a public hearing. Sixteen people spoke on the issue, and over 60 written comments were submitted.


Many in favor of local control argued that this ordinance is not the way to go about it, especially in the midst of a pandemic that will have unknown financial consequences for the city.


Those against local control said that the department could be used as a political prop. Others shared the example of St. Louis, which gained local control of its police department in 2013 and has since gone into debt.


While one speaker, who is from St. Louis, noted correlation does not necessarily equal causation, as one of a few cities that did not have local control, council members could be researching that transition when making a decision on what to prioritize for the upcoming year.


The ordinance that would put the issue to a city-wide vote came under criticism from some opponents as being a waste of time and money during an ongoing pandemic. Some were concerned it would confuse voters, as a victory at the polls would not create any direct changes.


After the Special Committee for Legal Review considered the ordinance that would put local control as a priority to a city-wide vote, 4th District Councilman Eric Bunch introduced a resolution at Thursday’s council meeting to make the issue an ongoing legislative priority without putting it to a city-wide vote.


The Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee sets legislative priorities each year before the state and federal legislative sessions convene, considering input from city staff, organizations, businesses and other municipalities. The city website has a form to submit issues for the Legislative Committee’s consideration.

Want Northeast News articles sent straight to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
We respect your privacy

Comments are closed.

  • Kansas City Man Charged with Robbery as part of Operation LeGend

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Operation LeGend continues to net positive results in Kansas City, this time snaring a 19 year-old Kansas City man for […]


    Finance provides insight into budget shortfalls and potential fixes

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Representatives from the City’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) updated the City Council and Mayor Quinton Lucas on the […]


    Missouri’s tax-free weekend returns tomorrow

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Kansas City shoppers will see the return of Missouri’s annual tax-free weekend starting Aug. 7, 2020 in Jackson, Clay, Platte […]


    Throwback Thursday

    August 6th, 2020
    by

    Today we visit the August 5, 1965 edition of The Northeast News that had these great community news stories. Pack […]


    Police search for PH Coffee robber

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington, was robbed on Aug. 1, 2020, and police are asking for the public’s help identifying a […]


    Victim dies from Saturday 12th and Lawndale shooting

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    The victim of an Aug. 1 shooting at 12th and Lawndale has died from his injuries, according to police. The […]


    Información sobre pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant La ciudad de Kansas City, Missouri, está ofreciendo pruebas gratuitas de COVID-19 en diferentes sitios […]


    Local priest involved in Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph Lawsuit

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Daisy Garcia Montoya Editorial Assistant A priest who served at Holy Cross Catholic Church on St. John Avenue is involved […]


  • RideKC opens new East Village Transit Center

    August 5th, 2020
    by

    Abby Hoover Managing Editor The new Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) East Village Transit Center at 12th and Charlotte […]


    Unofficial Results: Aug. 4 Primary Election

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    At 10:08 p.m., Jackson County had 136 of its 136 precincts fully reporting, and at 11:42 p.m., Kansas City had […]


    Man gets 40 years for killing teen outside mosque in 2014

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    Today a Jackson County judge sentenced Ahmed Aden, 40, to 40 years in prison for killing a 15-year-old Somali boy […]


    Mattie Rhodes Center Summer Youth Programming Underway

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    Mattie Rhodes Center’s (MRC) youth programming has officially started for this summer. New health guidelines released by the local government […]


    City plans Landlord and Tenant University as eviction moratorium expires

    August 4th, 2020
    by

    The Neighborhood and Housing Services Department of Kansas City, along with facilitators from Legal Aid of Western Missouri will hold […]


    COVID-19 impacts parks staff and operations

    July 31st, 2020
    by

    The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department is feeling the impact of COVID-19. With parks being utilized at an unprecedented […]


    August 4 Election Cheat Sheet

    July 30th, 2020
    by

    Jackson County Prosecutor & Jackson County Sheriff Missouri Senate District 9, 11, Missouri House District 23 Missouri House District 19, […]


    Library tackles COVID-19 myths

    July 29th, 2020
    by

    By Lucas Cuni-Mertz The Kansas City Public Library will be hosting a discussion tonight at 6:30 p.m. tackling myths surrounding […]


  • Faces Of Northeast


  • Remember This?


  • retorts illustrated by bryan stalder


  • Want articles sent directly to your inbox each week? Subscribe below!
    We respect your privacy and will not distribute your information.