KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The community will come together to talk about what it wants to see in its next police chief. A virtual forum is planned for Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Chief Rick Smith announced in November that he planned to retire in the first half of 2022.

Social justice advocatessome religious leaders and even one council member have been calling for Smith’s resignation or removal for well over a year now, largely since the protests in summer 2020. 

Some of those advocates are involved in Saturday’s community forum.

The forum is organized by a number of organizations including the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, the Police Accountability Task Force, the Jackson County Bar Association and the Metro Organization for Racial and Economic Equality.

Saturday’s meeting will discuss the qualifications and qualities the city is looking for in its next police chief.

“This is an opportunity for our communities of color to come together in a vitally important conversation regarding the qualifications of the next police chief,” Gwen Grant, Urban League of Greater Kansas City, said. “We want to ensure that our collective voice is heard before, during and after the entire selection process. No longer will we tiptoe on the sidelines of injustice and allow others to exclude our concerns. We are claiming our seat at the table.”

Those who wish to be a part of the virtual meeting need to register in advance. The forum will also be streamed on the Urban League’ Facebook page.