Finalist for KCPD chief says fix was in for him not to win position

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- On Friday the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners named Major Rick Smith the next chief for the KCPD.

In a 3-2 decision, the board picked Smith over the other finalist, Keith Humphrey, the chief of police in Norman, Oklahoma.

Humphrey told FOX 4 he was disappointed and believes he never had a fair chance with the three commissioners who supported Major Smith. Both Smith and Humphrey took questions from the public at an open forum Thursday night in the community room at the KCPD headquarters.

Early Friday morning, the board once again interviewed both candidates in private.

At 1 p.m. Friday afternoon, the board announced Smith would be the next chief.

“This morning, during the interview, I could kind of feel halfway through the interview that there were three of the commissioners that were not listening to me and had already made up their mind,” Humphrey said.

“It was very obvious to me that they were not wanting to have someone from the outside come in,” Humphrey continued, in a telephone interview. “It's their loss, if they want to remain status quo that's perfectly fine and they have a right to do that.”

Humphrey will remain chief in Norman. Major Smith officially assumes the role of KCPD chief on August 15.

Board president Leland Shurin and Kansas City Mayor Sly James were the two board members who voted, in the minority, for Humphrey.