KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners has elected a new president Tuesday and welcomed a new member.
Commissioners selected Cathy Dean as the new president of the police board, taking the place of Bishop Mark Tolbert.
Dean has served as a police commissioner since December 2019 and is a longtime resident of Kansas City.
After getting her law degree from the University of Missouri, Dean practiced at the Polsinelli Law Firm in Kansas City for nearly three decades until she retired from the firm in 2013.
She has served on several local boards and previously served as the police commission’s secretary and lawyer from 1989 to 1994.
On Tuesday, Dean said she was humbled to be nominated by her fellow commissioners, knowing it won’t be an easy job.
“I’m not looking forward to it, but I will do my very best,” Dean said. “And I’m so glad that the bishop will be here to help me because I’m going to need some good council.”
Tolbert will remain on the police board until November. He plans to step down after that month’s meeting.
From there, Missouri Gov. Parson will appoint another member to the police board to take Tolbert’s seat. Since the Kansas City Police Department is the only Missouri police department under state control, it’s overseen by a governor-appointed police board.
Parson also recently tapped JE Dunn executive Tom Whittaker to fill the seat of Don Wagner, who retired at the end of 2022.
Tuesday was the police board’s first meeting with Whittaker in attendance.
Mayor Quinton Lucas, also a member of the police board, was supportive of Whittaker’s appointment.
“Tom Whittaker is a friend. So long as a Board of Police Commissioners exists in our city, Tom is someone who will work to build a more collaborative relationship between the Board and all voices in our community,” Lucas said last month. “He also shares my commitment to making Kansas City safer for all.”