KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The search is on for a new chief of police in Kansas City, Missouri and Thursday night in the Historic Northeast what kind of person that will be was the topic of conversation.

It’s part of a series of six listening sessions put on by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

With Chief Rick Smith only weeks away from retirement who will take his place is up in the air.

Northeast residents say they want someone who’s ready to hit the streets and get to work. The neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures in pretty much any way you can imagine. With that comes different opinions but many agree on what they’d like to see in a new chief.

“I’m hearing a lot of things I didn’t know which is great because we’re sharing ideas and we’re mixed up, and I think it’s a really good idea,” Pastor Ann Rundquist with Gathering Table Lutheran Church said.

The listening session was held at the Northeast Chamber of Commerce on Independence Boulevard and hosted by Bobbi Baker, their president and long-time resident.

“The biggest complaint I hear is I call 911. I get put on hold. Nobody shows up. The crime continues. Our area, our community we don’t get the focus we’d like to see to start addressing the crime. It’s not just KCPD. It’s the entire judicial system,” Baker said.

The Northeast, while beautiful and welcoming, deals with theft, violent crime, and a growing homeless population. All things residents hope a new chief can help with.

“I think there’s some programs that have been pushed to the side that could be reinvented and more community policing oriented. Get back to a true community policing model,” Northeast resident, Michael Bushnell said.

Beyond helping in the Northeast, many residents hope progress can continue within KCPD’s ranks.

“My hope is that it will be an individual who is fair to all his police officers, and women officers. That he puts them in higher ranks that have been here and shown that they really have leadership qualities. The new recruits that come in we have a diverse group that represents Kansas City,” Northeast resident Estella Morales said.

All of the information taken from these meetings is going to be put together and presented to the Board of Police Commissioners. They will decide who the next chief will be.

There is one more listening session on Thursday afternoon at Union Station.

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