JEFFERSON CITY — Police officers in Kansas City won’t have to choose between their career and their family’s happiness and security now that legislation sponsored by State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, has been signed into law. Signed by the governor on Wednesday, Senate Bill 53 allows police officers to reside up to 30 miles outside the Kansas City limits, eliminating an impediment to officer recruitment and retention.
“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 said. “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 what’s best for their own families.”
The legislation signed by the governor this week includes a number of provisions relating to public safety, courts and law enforcement. Senate Bill 53 also 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 penalties when police officers are targeted. The legislation was inspired by an incident outside a Kansas City police station, when a protestor threatened to reveal where children of police officers attend school.
Another provision requires offenders in Missouri’s prisons to make restitution to their victims before receiving money from federal COVID-19 stimulus payments. The bill also increase salaries for Missouri sheriffs, who often earn less than the deputies who serve under them.
“Law enforcement has always been a difficult and dangerous career but I believe it has become even more challenging in recent years,” Sen. Luetkemeyer said. “Now more than ever, we need to make sure we are able to recruit and retain top law enforcement.”
For more information about Sen. Luetkemeyer, visit www.senate.mo.gov/mem34