Wed June 18, 2008
State Control Boosts Pay Levels at KC PD
By Dan Verbeck, KCUR News
Kansas City, MO. – The same week as the 75th Anniversary of the Union Station Massacre a ceremonial signing at Kansas City police headquarters pulls it all into perspective 2008-style.
The gangsters versus law officers shootout in 1933, came at a time the police department was ostensibly run by what many considered a corrupt political machine, in which favors allowed the lawless to come and go at will. The two gunners who killed federal agents and local police at the train station quickly disappeared.
The State of Missouri eventually took power over the department. And has it still. A new series of three laws are signed by Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, allowing the governor's police board appointees to raise salary classes for Kansas City commissioned officers, raise them to levels higher than city leaders might like. Senator Luann Rideway(R) of Smithville sponsored one bill. In her words:
'we're increasing the ceiling, the maximum allowable payscale, to keep pace with the times.'
The laws do not actually raise individual officers' pay, rather that of the rank or class. Police Chief James Corwin estimated every 3 years the department lobbies in the state capital over pay issues. This is that third year.