JEFFERSON CITY — Senate Bill 53, an omnibus public safety bill sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, was approved by the General Assembly and now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature. The bill, originally drafted to relax residency requirements for KCPD officers, eventually grew to include more than three dozen separate provisions relating to law enforcement and courts.
“This legislation began as a way to address officer shortages in the Kansas City Police Department, but we were able to add multiple provisions to aid law enforcement,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, it was my honor to shepherd this bill through the legislative process and arrive at a bipartisan compromise that increases public safety in communities across our state.”
The core provision of SB 53 allows KCPD officers to live within 30 miles of the city limits of Kansas City, relaxing a rule that impacted recruitment and retention of qualified police officers. A separate provision of Sen. Luetkemeyer’s bill 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. The bill also includes a measure, introduced by Sen. Luetkemeyer, which requires pandemic-related stimulus payments received by inmates to be redirected to pay for victim restitution.
Senate Bill 53 was combined with Senate Bill 60 to address a number of issues related to law enforcement. Among the bill’s many provisions, the bill limits the use of chokeholds by police officers, enacts new requirements for police officer certification and licensure, increases salaries for county sheriffs, provides additional services for survivors of sexual assault, modifies statutes related to juveniles and grants courts greater flexibility to issue protection orders for victims of domestic abuse.
“Members of both parties have priority provisions in the bill. All of these provisions are supported by law enforcement and the prosecuting attorneys’ association,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “We hear a lot about the inability of lawmakers in Washington, D.C. to work together collaboratively in government. I think this bill is living proof that when we work hard, we’re able to pass good bipartisan legislation.”
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34.