KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- KCMO Police Chief Darryl Forte confirmed to Fox 4 Wednesday that after five and a half years of serving as police chief he is leaving the force. He says he feels that he is at a time in his life when he needs rest.
Chief Forte tells Fox 4 his last day with the KCMO Police Department will be May 20.
Forte feels like he is leaving at a high point in his career and the high point for the department. He says his biggest success for the department has been removing barriers between police and the community. He also says he feels he has done a lot to support those under him through services that they did not have before.
Forte plans to stay in the community and try to get his law degree, possibly from UMKC. He intends to take his LSAT on June 20. He hopes to one day do pro bono work with his law degree to continue helping the Kansas City community.
During his free time he says he will continue to ride his Harley Davidson.
When asked if his decision to retire has anything to do with recent criticism from community activists, he said no. Forte said his decision was ultimately influenced by a recent family vacation. He said after a conversation he had with his daughter who was home from college it got him thinking it was time to get some rest.
Forte also tweeted about his retirement.
" I appreciate the support I have received from everyone. It has been a honor serving," he tweeted.
I will be retiring from KCPD effective 5/20/17. I appreciate the support I have received from everyone. It has been a honor serving.
— Darryl Forte' (@sheriffforte) March 22, 2017
Mark Alford was the only one to speak with Forte right after his announcement Wednesday.
Kansas City Mayor Sly James issued this statement on Wednesday afternoon:
"Chief Forte's leadership has been very valuable to our city. I have enjoyed the working relationship we've maintained and I will always consider him a friend.
I am sure that the Board of Police Commissioners will fashion a process to find a new Chief, and I'm committed to finding the best person in the country to lead the department. However, it's imperative that we understand that public safety has to be a community commitment. Moving forward, I think it's important we remember that each resident is an active participant in addressing crime and violence."