The Kansas City Board of Commissioners’ search for a police chief has advanced into a new phase following the Sept. 5 application deadline. 

The Board of Commissioners has been conducting a nationwide search to replace Chef Rick Smith, who retired in April. Public Sector Search & Consulting, a California-based firm, was hired to conduct the search. 

Originally, the process was projected to take a year. Our request to the Board of Commissioners to establish a timeline for the hiring process was not returned. The Sept. 5 application closing date was confirmed in a statement by the Board to a spokesperson for KCPD.  

“(They) will have more information available after that date,” the statement said.

In March, Kansas City residents voiced their opinions on what they hoped to see in the next police chief. A series of listening sessions, sponsored by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, was held to provide the board with feedback from residents. 

Issues such as aggressively addressing the gun violence and homicide rate in the city, and promoting transparency and accountability within the department were among the top concerns raised by residents. 

According to The Kansas City Star-maintained statistics, as of Aug. 30, Kansas City has recorded 174 homicides, surpassing 154 in 2021, the second highest rate in city history.  

Joseph Mabin, a 22-year veteran of the department, has served as interim chief since April. Marbin has stated he would not apply for the permanent position.

Smith served as the police chief for nearly five years, during which time the department was rife with controversies for excessive use of force, officers’ killing of Black men, and the city’s high murder rate. Smith announced he would retire mere days after a KCPD officer was charged with manslaughter in the killing of Cameron Lamb. It was reported that there were enough votes among the nine-member Board of Police Commissioners to terminate Smith had he not chosen to retire.

Many local KCPD officers are expected to apply for the position. The salary range for the chief of police is up to $189,768 annually and will require the hire to be a resident of Missouri.

Jacob Martin covered news that focuses on housing and equality issues in Kansas City. Prior to joining our team, he worked as a general assignments reporter with KCUR in Kansas City. A Louisville, Kentucky...