Sen. Greg Razer, in Support of Kansas City, Votes No on Senate Bill 53

Senator Greg Razer, on Support of Kansas City, Votes No on Senate Bill 53

JEFFERSON CITY — State Sen. Greg Razer, D-Kansas City, voted “no” on Senate Bill 53, legislation removing the residency requirement for Kansas City’s police force, and joined other leaders from Kansas City in opposing the bill.

“Community policing has been a priority of my constituents and the City for many years,” Sen. Razer said. “In order to fully implement community policing, it’s important for officers to live in our City. Residency requirements are good for Kansas City neighborhoods. They help build trust and relationships in the community, and it’s important for police officers to know the people they are sworn to protect. The residency requirement should not be decided by the Missouri General Assembly, but rather by local elected officials who are fully accountable to the residents of Kansas City.”

Senate Bill 53 would remove the longstanding provision that members of the Kansas City police force live in Kansas City. This legislation was strongly opposed by Kansas City leaders, including Mayor Quinton Lucas, who characterized the move as a “step back for community-police relations.”

During the committee process, SB 53 was combined with Senate Bill 60, a police reform bill, meaning members in the full Senate could not vote on each measure separately.

“The police reform measures included in Senate Bill 60 are an important part of the conversation and I hope the House will consider penalty provisions for the chokehold ban.  However, I could not support the General Assembly undermining Kansas City’s right to self-govern,” Sen. Razer said. “I stand with the City officials and Kansas City leaders opposed to Senate Bill 53.”

Senate Bill 53 now goes to the Missouri House of Representatives for further consideration.

For more information, please contact Senator Razer’s office at 573-751-6607.