KCMO Fire Chief Retires: What’s Next for the Department?
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The fire chief’s replacement will walk into a department with millions of dollars in budget cuts.
The city manager’s office is tasked with finding a replacement. City spokesperson Dennis Gagnon said city manager Troy Schulte finished his interviews for an interim chief Tuesday, but has not made a decision.
Gagnon said the interim chief will take over on July 31, until a more permanent replacement is hired. They hope this will be sooner rather than later.
Chief Smokey Dyer said he hopes the city hires someone within the department, but the Gagnon said that decision is up to the city manager. He said Schulte is likely looking inside and outside the department.
But whoever it is, will head a department budget that has been slashed by millions.
“Anytime you have somebody that is dynamic as the chief is, it makes people wonder how the city moves forward. But the city has a long history, more than 150 years of moving forward and we’ll move forward again,” Dennis Gagnon said.
Chief Dyer said he’d like his replacement to continue the department’s labor-management partnership – where they’ve brought together command staff and leadership from two different unions. Dyer said without that, it will be much more difficult to have an effective fire department.
Dyer and the city said the public should be assured that the department is well-equipped to continue to provide the kind of service it has been.
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