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Bill Aimed at Making Cross-Border Police Work Easier in KC

Shawnee Police Chief Larry Larimore. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill to give law enforcement officers in the Kansas City area more protections when they cross state lines. The bill would create an agreement between Kansas and Missouri law enforcement agencies to make it quicker and easier for officers to respond to calls for help from another agency.

Shawnee Police Chief Larry Larimore says in an emergency near the border, they need the officers closest to the event to be able to respond.
 
“Westwood, Leawood, Overland Park, the cities that border Missouri, there’s a chance the Missouri officer’s going to be closer.”
 
The concern is that when officers cross state lines their legal protections don’t always go with them.

The Kansas Sheriffs’ Association opposes the bill, saying officers already have protections. A spokesman for the KSA says that if changes are needed, they should be applied to all Kansas border counties.

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(VERSION TWO)
Kansas lawmakers are considering a bill giving law enforcement officers in the Kansas City area more legal protections when they cross the state line. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, the legislation would create an agreement between Kansas and Missouri law enforcement agencies.

(SCRIPT)
Proponents say if there were, for example, an emergency in Missouri, this would make it easier for Kansas officers to help.

Shawnee Police Chief Larry Larimore says in some emergencies, officers from the other state may be in the best position to help. But his concern is that when officers go across the border, their legal protections may not go with them.

“If a Kansas police officer uses force in Missouri, is he covered by law? That’s why we want clearly stated law,” says Larimore.

But Johnson County Sheriff Frank Denning -speaking on behalf of the Kansas Sheriffs’ Association- say he believes officers already have the protections they need. He has concerns that the bill blurs the jurisdiction lines between agencies.
 

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