KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri has a new interim police chief as the department begins a national search for its permanent leader.

Friday, Rick Smith formally retired after 34 years with the department, five years as police chief.

One person FOX4 spoke with said “I don’t need a police chief that looks like me, I want someone who thinks about me.”

A lot of people at the recent listening sessions were saying they want the next police chief to be personable, someone they can see in the grocery store and speak to.

As interim police chief, Joe Mabin becomes the head of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department.

There are plans underway to fill the permanent position.

“We must take into consideration the different ethnicities, the different cultures, the different languages to maintain proper policing,” said Pedro Zamora with the Hispanic Economic Development Corporation.

People in the community say they are looking forward to change. They just hope the Board of Police Commissioners are listening to their request.

Zamora said while the community has request for the upcoming permanent chief, it’s important for people to take a look in the mirror.

“To have that I don’t feel welcomed in your community,” he said. We got to get over that. We’re asking our brothers and sisters to protect and serve us. We must really think as community residents what does that really mean.”

Pastor Darron Edwards said crime and racial injustice is on people’s mind but it will take a process until a new permanent chief is named.

“It’s going to take a top cop who looks down from a top down to a bottom up approach and says these are the things that are truly needed,” he said. “It’s going to take a process and I’d rather for it to be a slow deliberate smart process than a quick fast process to where you have exhausted all the means.”

Mabin said he’s not interested in the full time job. Mayor Quinton Lucas said he could be in this new role for the rest of the year.

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