Kansas City police swear in newest chief - KCTV5

Kansas City police swear in newest chief

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Kansas City Police Department Major Rick Smith, a 29-year law enforcement veteran, was sworn in at about 9:35 a.m. (KCTV5) Kansas City Police Department Major Rick Smith, a 29-year law enforcement veteran, was sworn in at about 9:35 a.m. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

The Kansas City Police Department swore in its newest police chief on Tuesday.

Kansas City Police Department Major Rick Smith, a 29-year law enforcement veteran, was sworn in at about 9:35 a.m.

The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners named Smith as the new chief on July, 28.

Before being named chief, Smith was assigned to the Central Patrol Division. He began his career in KC in 1988 as a beat cop, then transferred to the homicide unit before leading the Central Patrol Division. 

At the news conference, he had a big smile on his face. “It’s a dream to sit in this chair and to look at this department and to see where we can move forward and to accomplish the things we need to accomplish to make this city great," he said.

His goals are to reduce crime and address neighborhood concerns. More importantly, he’s agreed to work with police commission members to get more officers on the streets. 

The search for a new chief began shortly after the previous chief, Darryl Forte, announced his retirement in March. Forty-two people originally applied for the position.

During the search process, city leaders said they want the person who understands Kansas City best.

“I want someone who understands the diversity of our community and how important that is,” said Leland Shurin, President of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.

Smith was one of two finalists named for the job. The other was Norman, OK Police Chief Keith Humphrey.

The board voted 3-2 for Major Smith.

“I voted for Chief Humphrey because he’s been a chief twice and because he has an outside presence, and I thought perhaps hiring chief Humphrey we would have an outside presence and an inside presence because Major Smith would still be here,” Mayor Sly James said. Despite that, he does say he 100 percent stands behind Major Smith as police chief. 

Humphrey told KCTV5 News that he's disappointed. He said he feels that three members on the board didn't want to see a change within the department and didn't want an outsider leading the department. 

"I believe it was it was the Mayor and Mr. Shurin," Humphrey said. "I believe the other three, I think, they already had their mind made up."

"I'm disappointed, but it's the board's choice," Humphrey said. "If they want their department to remain status quo, they have that right." "I think they are comfortable with controversy and they’ll have to deal with that," he said.

A disappointed Humphry said that, during his short time in KC, he met great people and wanted to change the perspective of the police department by showing more transparency and putting an emphasis on community policing.  

Humphry said he will return to Norman as police chief.  

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