KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Board of Police Commissioners held a public forum Saturday for the community to hear from the three finalists in the running to become Kansas City’s next Chief of Police.
Each candidate was asked a series of pre-selected questions that were submitted to an online portal before the meeting. Topics ranged from racism, sexism, violent crime strategy, youth initiatives, and more.
Kansas City, Kansas resident Griffin Peoples said he’s most concerned about what the new Chief of Police will do about crime in the metro.
“A significant reduction in the gun violence, that’s really what I want to see,” Peoples said. “I want to feel that Kansas City, Missouri is becoming more of a safer metropolitan community like when I was a child.”
Lisa Fleming lives in Kansas City and is also the CEO of Rose Brooks Center, a shelter that provides resources to domestic abuse survivors and their children. She said a partnership with KCPD, and the new chief is crucial in keeping victims safe.
“You know somebody that is going to look at best practices and policies for helping to keep survivors safe and hold offenders accountable,” Fleming said. “And doing it in a very strategic way.”
During one of the candidates’ Q&A, people who said they were with a group called “Decarcerate KC” interrupted the meeting, letting the police department know what they thought of the forum, calling it a scam, accusing the new police chief had already been pre-selected by the Board of Police Commissioners.
“We want justice, we want resources, we don’t want another spineless police chief who’s going to cover up for murderous cops,” a woman with the group shouted.
The demonstrators were then escorted out by police before the meeting ended.
KCPD acting Deputy Chief Stacy Graves, Scott Ebner, a retired Lieutenant Colonel for the New Jersey State Police, and Deshawn Beaufort from the Philadelphia Police Department are the finalists in the running.
Saturday’s town hall was the first and only time the community will hear from the final three candidates before a new Chief of Police for KCPD is decided.
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