As homicide numbers increase, staffing for the Kansas City Police Department is at a historic low

With Kansas City, Missouri on pace to potentially set a new homicide record, the Kansas City Police Department is at its lowest force strength in fifty years.

According to Fraternal Order of Police President Brad Lemon, there are currently 284 unfilled police officer positions for KCPD.

Additionally, half of homicide cases so far this year are unsolved.

One of those unsolved cases is the murder or Nykolett Schroeder, 24, a mother of three young children.

She was fatally shot in a hallway of the Canyon Creek Apartments at 9300 Bales.

Nykolett’s mother Lisa Schroeder believes the shortage of KCPD officers is a factor in the city’s violent crime problem.

“I know you can’t be everywhere at once. So, you would think that more would be helpful. I know there’s a debate and a battle about it, but I just feel like they can’t be everywhere. We need some help in this,” she said.

Based on numbers from KCPD Annual Reports, there’s been a decade long trend in declining police officer numbers and an increase in homicides.

Those records show KCPD started 2014 with 1427 officers.

In 2014, there were 79 homicides.

Currently, KCPD has 1098 police officers.

As of Wednesday, just over five months into the year, there have been 80 homicides, more murders than all of 2014.

Kansas City is also on pace to potentially break a homicide record in 2023.

The record of 179 homicides was set in 2020.

On June 7, 2020, there were 79 homicides, one less than at the same time in 2023.

The trend has also taken place in the last few years.

There were 1363 KCPD officers at the end of 2019.

That number has dropped by 265 officers or 19 percent in less than three-and-a-half years.

Image: Maxim Hopson


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