KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While a seat lays empty on the governor-appointed Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, Mayor Quinton Lucas is getting to work in an attempt to make changes.
Tuesday’s regular meeting came one day after Commissioner Nathan Garrett announced his resignation, and Lucas unveiled a proposed new roadmap for the board. Garrett cited the board’s residency requirement in his resignation, and now Gov. Mike Parson must select his replacement.
However, Lucas is making sure Parson hears his suggestions. Lucas sent a letter to the governor, suggesting three candidates he thinks would be best suited for the role.
The board re-convened Tuesday despite Garrett’s empty seat after a dramatic few weeks.
“We are one member down, but we addressed a few important issues. One being how we solved violent crime in Kansas City,” Lucas said.
Lucas’ suggestions were brought to the board and discussed in a closed session of Tuesday’s meeting. The mayor said the department is reviewing the suggestions.
“I don’t think it’s acceptable that the challenges Kansas City had when I was growing up as a kid are exactly the same today,” Lucas said. “I’m committed to making sure we see a difference both with city council, our actions, but here at the Board of Police Commissioners, as long as the institution exists.”
However, who will fill Garrett’s seat is still to be decided. Parson has not named a replacement.
State Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, said he hopes Parson appoints someone with law enforcement experience and preferably someone from the Northland.
“I think that the Northland would really relish the idea of having somebody from the Northland serving on the police commission. I mean, the Northland does not comprise the majority of the population of the city, but significant amounts of have tax revenue,” Luetkemeyer said.
Lucas’s three suggestions do not have any law enforcement experience themselves and have community-based backgrounds, he said.
Here’s more information on each of Lucas’s recommendations to fill the open police board seat:
Dr. Cokethea Hill runs her own consulting firm, BLAQUE (Black Leaders Advancing Quality Urban Education). Previously, she worked with SchoolSmartKC, a funding collaborative working to obtain grants for metro schools in the urban core. She is also the board chair for the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Vice Chair of the City Planning Commission, along with a member of the Urban Neighborhood Initiative and Turn the Page Kansas City.
Tom Brown was Republican Rep. Sam Graves’ chief of staff and senior advisor for more than 14 years. He also served as the board chairman for St. Luke’s Hospital and the Missouri Lottery Commission. He currently sits on the St. Luke’s Health System Board and the Tri-County Mental Health Board.
Dr. Linwood Tauheed worked as an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The mayor said his focus is improving the quality of life to residents in blighted areas. He said his focus would include community economic development, interdisciplinary research methodology, and diversity and inclusion.
FOX4 reached out to Parson’s office for an update on the empty seat, but did not hear back at the time of this article.
In regard to the board’s lawsuit against the city, they were granted a change of judge Tuesday, and their July court date was canceled until that judge is appointed.