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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A well-known Kansas City activist and former police commissioner is urging the police board to hold off on selecting its next chief.

Alvin Brooks penned a letter to the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners on Monday.

The 90-year-old has served Kansas City in a number of ways for nearly 70 years.

He was hired as one of the city’s first Black police officers in 1954 and served as a member of the Board of Police Commissioners from 2010-2017, acting as chair for two terms.

After his time as an officer, Brooks led a new city department on human relations after the 1968 race riots and civil rights movement in Kansas City. Brooks also founded the Ad Hoc Group against Crime 45 years ago that continues to work to reduce crime in Kansas City.

In his letter this week, Brooks said he attended the board’s community forum Saturday where the public was able to meet the three finalists for police chief.

As a result of that meeting, he wrote in his letter: “Please do not make your decision on this important decision at your meeting (Tuesday).”

Brooks also shared the following recommendations:

  1. The board have all three candidates return for three public hearings with all three candidates on the same panel at the same time.
  2. They each would present themselves to the public and respond to questions from those in attendance. (All questions would be submitted to the moderator on 3×5 cards).
  3. Forums should be held in three areas of the city: north of the river, Midtown and south Kansas City.
  4. All three candidates should be asked specifically to address this questions: “How do you define Community Policing? If you are chosen to be our next chief, how and where would you start to implement Community Policing?”

The police board is scheduled to meet at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

DeShawn Beaufort from the Philadelphia Police Department, KCPD Acting Deputy Chief Stacey Graves, and Scott Ebner, a retired lieutenant colonel for the New Jersey State Police, are in the running for chief.

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