JEFFERSON CITY — A measure sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, intended to address police officer shortages in the Kansas City Police Department received initial approval this week. Senate Bill 53 would allow the department to employ police officers who live outside the city limits. The bill also increases the penalty for exposing private information about police officers.
Similar to legislation relaxing police residency requirements in St. Louis, a measure requested by the governor and passed during an extra legislative session in 2020, Sen. Luetkemeyer’s bill allows police officers to reside within 30 miles of the Kansas City limits.
“The archaic requirement that police officers live inside the city is one of the primary reasons that well-qualified police officers choose not to apply for jobs with the Kansas City Police Department,” Sen. Luetkemeyer says. “My legislation removes that impediment. The brave men and women of law enforcement should not be told by government where they must live. They should not have to put their careers above the health and safety of their own families.”
A separate provision of SB 53 makes it a crime to publicly expose private information about a law enforcement officer in an effort to intimidate or harass the officer or their family. “Doxing” is currently a misdemeanor in Missouri, but Sen. Luetkemeyer’s bill increases it to a felony when police officers are targeted. The legislation was prompted by an incident outside the Kansas City Police Department Headquarters, when a protestor threatened to reveal where children of police officers attended school.
Senate Bill 53 awaits one final vote in the Senate before heading to the House of Representatives for its consideration.
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.