By John Sharp
South Kansas City residents and other interested persons can voice what they believe are the most important qualities and qualifications for a new Kansas City police chief at a listening session from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 2, at Evangel Church, 1414 E. 103rd St., which is on the north side of I-435 just east of Holmes Rd.
A written summary of public comments from this and five similar listening sessions scheduled around the city by a coalition of 15 business and civic groups will be formally submitted to the Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) as it begins its national search for a new police chief this spring to replace Chief Rick Smith who is retiring on April 22.
“Input and voices of the Kansas City community are vital and necessary as the city’s search for a police chief moves forward,” said Ronald Lindsay, senior pastor of Concord Fortress of Hope Church and a leader of one of the groups.
Numerous community organizations including civil rights, faith-based and neighborhood groups are promoting public participation in the sessions.
The south Kansas City event hosted by the South Kansas City Alliance and the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce will include breakout sessions for small group discussions on what values and experiences participants feel are essential for the new chief and what should be the new chief’s top priorities.
Walk-ins are welcome at the free event, but persons may register online if they choose by going to the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce website www.kcchamber.com and clicking on Current Topics, then on Kansas City Missouri Police Chief Community Listening Sessions and then on Read Article.
This will also allow them to see the schedule of the other listening sessions they may want to attend and to submit their thoughts about the most important qualifications and priorities of the new chief online so their thoughts can be included with comments from the listening sessions presented to the BOPC.