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First public meeting in process to hire new KC police chief kicks off at Maple Woods Community College

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The process of hiring a new police chief starts Monday.

Kansas City Police Commissioners are hosting the first of three public meetings to replace Chief Darryl Forte at Maple Woods Community College Campus Center off Barry Road and 152-Highway from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

There’s a lot of pressure for Commissioners to find the right person for this job. Chief Forte is very popular with the community, and his decision to resign took everyone by surprise.

Chief Forte rose up the ranks within the Kansas City Police Department to become the city’s first African-American police chief back in 2011. During his five and a half years, he helped heal the rift between police officers and the community.

He didn’t just sit behind a desk but showed up at many crime scenes, and community activists praised his willingness to sit down and work with them on various issues.

His last day will by May 20.

Commissioners plan to appoint an interim chief within the department, someone who is not in the running for the head job. They have also hired a firm to help with the national search.

Commissioners say public opinion is important to help them choose the right person, and Monday is the first of three chances you will have to make your voice heard.

If you can’t make Monday, they will also meet twice next week – Monday, May 15 at Avila University at 119th and Wornall and Tuesday, May 16 at the Mohart Community Center at 32nd and Wayne.

Commissioners hope to appoint a new police chief by this August or September.