Missouri voters to decide police funding

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a matter of weeks, some voters will decide whether cities should be required to spend a designated amount on police every year.

The issue is on Missouri’s ballot as Amendment 4.

Supporters argue that if the issue passes it would keep officers on police forces and prevent attempts to “defund” departments.

Opponents disagree. They say it would take away local control from police departments. It would also leave spending up to people who don’t live in the communities the departments serve.

“Let’s be frank. People in rural communities think that crime only happens in Kansas City, St. Louis, and now Columbia and Springfield. And that there is a need for more police. They actually think that, not realizing that rural Missouri is in the top 10 for gun violence, by suicide, rural Missouri has more drugs that some of us have,” Sen. Barbara Washington, Mo.-D, said.

Then, the focus shifts to Johnson County, Kansas, where voters will elect a new county commission chair.

Roeland Park Mayor Mike Kelly is running against 3rd District County Commissioner Charlotte O’Hara for the position.

In a somewhat unusual move, current Johnson County Chairman Ed Eilert endorsed Kelly to replace him.

Eilert is a Republican and Kelly is a Democrat.

“You know, I’ve had he opportunity to work with Chairman Eilert. I’ve been Mayor of Roeland Park for five years, and I appreciate that he recognizes the need for non-patrisan government in Johnson County. The public works department isn’t Republican, or Democrat, it’s a public works department, Kelly said.

FOX4 will be interviewing both candidates on 4Star Politics. Our interview with Kelly airs first this Saturday. Our interview with O’Hara airs Oct. 22. You can watch 4Star Politics on FOX4 at 5:30 a.m. Saturdays or on fox4kc.com.

Watch the full episode of 4Star Politics in the video player above.

FOX4 and The Kansas City Star are partnering to bring you 4Star Politics, a special venture with new episodes airing on FOX4 every Saturday at 5:30 a.m. and posted online at FOX4KC.com.

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