Simultaneously stunned and grateful, Kansas City community reacts to KCPD Chief Forte’s retirement

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Questions mounting for Kansas City's top cop, as word spreads of his seemingly sudden retirement. People FOX 4 talked to on Wednesday are disappointed that KCPD Chief Darryl Forte is leaving so soon, and wonder if there isn't more to the story, behind closed doors.

The sound of scissors and discussion about Chief Forte's sudden retirement filled a Kansas City barbershop.

"He wanted to make a difference, for him to retire so soon, it was a real shock to me," James King said.

Chief Forte liked to get his hair cut at the Ivy League Barbershop, and owner James King says he was impressed by him and his eagerness to walk the walk.

"That's all he wanted to do is try to change our community, try to make it better," King said.

Chief Forte helped Rosilyn Temple get her not for profit, Mothers In Charge, off the ground and showed a true passion for helping stop violence in the metro by being present at homicide scenes.

"He gave me the opportunity. Here the chief comes, just riding through in his car. That made me feel safe," Temple said.

"He done a fine job. When he gets out his bed at 2 o'clock in the morning, be on the scene. But yet still he's gonna get flack about overtime," Girard Carson said.

The police chief constantly had to defend his salary and overtime, after being scrutinized for how much comp time he racked up. Many in the community wonder if that played a role, in his sudden departure.

"That's how a lot of people in the community look at it, it ain't the police chief it's politics," Carson said.

Regardless, people we talked to stand by Chief Forte.

"Hate to see him go, wish he could stay," King said.

They wish he wasn't leaving so soon and say the new chief will have big shoes to fill, come May.

"Thank you for serving our community the way you have. You enjoy," Temple said.

"We love you Chief Forte, here at the Ivy League Barbershop, that's fo' sho!" King said.

Chief Forte declined an on camera interview with FOX 4. His last day at the department will be May 20th.

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