Critics of the change, together with 4 Metropolis Council members who signify suburban Kansas Metropolis districts, and a few state lawmakers, say the modifications are a roundabout technique to “defund” the police, they usually allege it’ll trigger layoffs at a time when the town wants extra officers.
On Friday, Lucas rejected these statements, saying each officer who at the moment has a job will hold it. He contended the modifications are designed to enhance police and metropolis accountability to the general public, particularly to principally minority neighborhoods that endure many of the metropolis’s violence.
Lucas and different supporters of the change, together with a number of civil rights organizations, mentioned the town wants to search out new methods to deal with the continued violent crime, quite than merely hiring extra officers. In addition they word the Police Division had a price range of about $238 million however metropolis leaders don’t have any say in how these thousands and thousands are spent.
Lucas has beforehand mentioned he believes state having management of the Police Division violates the Fourteenth Modification of the Structure, which says folks should be handled the identical below the legislation.
After the vote, Lucas mentioned the town “reluctantly embraces” the litigation as a doable path to regaining native management of the division, even when it requires taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court docket.
“I admire that quite than fixing this within the legislature, a courtroom will resolve on whether or not this method, one which ignores the voices of the folks and hasn’t labored for many years, is nice for Kansas Metropolis,” the mayor mentioned.