The Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department announced a new free municipal ID program but the plan didn’t meet the approval of a coalition of community organizations that have been pushing for a Wyandotte County-issued ID for months.

KCKPD sees the new ID as a way to help more Wyandotte County residents obtain housing, employment and services that are only accessible with a state-issued identification card. But the program is only for those who are eligible for state ID cards or had identification at some point, leaving out a huge portion of Wyandotte County’s undocumented individuals.

The coalition of organizations with Safe and Welcoming Wyandotte, including MORE2, Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation and KCK NAACP have rallied to pass their two-part ordinance that would direct the city to create its own municipal ID program – not the police department. The second part of the ordinance also prevents KCKPD from collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Their ordinance is intentional in protecting Wyandotte County’s undocumented people, but the KCKPD program is not designed for those who are undocumented.

“We don’t need empty gestures, designed to continue excluding the majority of those without identification. We need safe and welcoming and we need it now,” said a statement from Safe and Welcoming.

KCKPD-ISSUED ID HELPFUL FOR SOME

The KCKPD-launched free municipal identification card will prove helpful for individuals who may not have a proper state-issued ID or the means to obtain the documents to apply for one.

“We see individuals everyday who can’t do simple things many of us take for granted such as picking up a prescription, renting an apartment or even getting cash from a checking account – because they don’t have an ID to prove their identity,” said Captain Brittaney Pruitt in the KCKPD Community Policing Unit. “Because of theft, fire or loss of possessions they also don’t have the documents necessary to prove their identity which makes the process of getting an ID nearly impossible.”

Issued in a number of cities across the country, a municipal ID is not a driver’s license and typically has fewer barriers than a state and federal identification would require. The new municipal ID will include the person’s legal name, photo, signature, date of birth, personal demographics, address or last known and if applicable, and a Kansas State ID card number.

Applicants can start the process by booking an appointment with KCKPD Community Policing where they will provide personal information for the application and their photo is taken. Officers then use state-level databases to verify the individual’s identity and their ID will be issued upon verification.

The Kansas Department of Revenue will accept the KCKPD ID as proof of identification, which will allow the person to get a temporary one-year state-issued ID card. Within that year, they will need to obtain a copy of their birth certificate and social security card, which will allow them to receive their official state-issued ID.

“The best part is that we will be there with them every step of the way,” said Sergeant Angela Joyce with the KCKPD Community Policing Unit.

To schedule a KCKPD ID appointment, contact Community Policing at (913) 573-6262 or email at kckpdoutreach@kckpd.org.

Jazzlyn Johnson

Jazzlyn "Jazzie” is the former senior reporter for our team, who joined the company in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, through the Report for America service program. For the past two years, she covered...

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