Wed March 26, 2008
City and County Officials Explore Possibility of Regional Jail
By Sylvia Maria Gross
Kansas City, MO – A long-discussed concept for a regional jail in Jackson County took a step closer to becoming an official plan Wednesday. Kansas City and Jackson County officials announced their intention to move forward with a merger during last minute negotiations on the city's budget - which is due Thursday.
Mayor Mark Funkhouser has proposed closing the city jail, and the City Council's compromise budget would cut funding through privatization. But Councilwoman Cathy Jolly says that consolidating booking procedures and building a new regional facility could eventually save the city money without compromising public safety.
Jolly says she'll introduce a resolution Thursday instructing the city manager to begin researching the plan. According to Jolly, "I will oppose any efforts in this current budget as well as we are progressing to close our jail."
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says he's been meeting with the county's police chief and mayors to drum up support for a regional system.