Stacey Graves named new chief of Kansas City Police Department

Stacey Graves was appointed the new chief of police for the Kansas City Police Department.
Stacey Graves was appointed the new chief of police for the Kansas City Police Department.(KCTV5)
Published: Dec. 15, 2022 at 9:53 AM CST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2022 at 3:03 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - The Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners announced the city police department’s chief of police will be Acting Deputy Chief Stacey Graves.

Graves has more than 25 years of experience serving in the Kansas City Missouri Police Department. She is the first female police chief in the department’s history.

She has commanded the Patrol Bureau and overseen all six patrol division stations and the traffic and special operations divisions. The Patrol Bureau has 918 sworn and 109 non-sworn positions.

As a major, Graves managed the Shoal Creek Patrol Division (109,213 residents and over 74.6 miles, with 78 personnel). She also led the Human Resources Division during KCPD’s pandemic response.

She is the first female police chief in the department’s history.

Graves was the Patrol Bureau’s Executive Officer before being named the Acting Deputy Chief earlier this month. Graves has experience in Patrol, Media and Internal Affairs. Other assignments include the Target-Oriented Policing Squad (TOPS), Career Criminal Squad, the Drug Enforcement Unit, and patrol.

She began her career with the KCPD as a Records Clerk in 1997. Graves has an Executive Master of Business Administration from Benedictine College and earned a B.A. in Administration of Justice from the University of Missouri Kansas City.

The Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office released the following statement in light of today’s news:

Graves replaces Joseph Mabin, who was appointed interim police chief when the embattled former chief, Rick Smith, left the department amid controversy in April 2021.

Graves said during a news conference that one of her first steps as chief will be to build bridges so the department, city leaders and community members can work together to make Kansas City safe.

She also promised the department will be “an open book” while dealing with the U.S. Department of Justice investigation and other issues.

“I will be that front-facing communicator that this city wants and needs,” Graves said. “If there’s something that we’re doing wrong, the motto is ‘mess up, ‘fess up and move on.’ And the ‘move on’ isn’t forget about it. It’s learn from it and move forward in a better way.”

Graves was the only Kansas City officer among the three finalists for the job. Mayor Quinton Lucas said Thursday that was not a deciding factor in choosing Graves.

He said the board focused on the candidates’ plans for making the city safer, a long-term vision to address violent crime, and ensuring any changes will have support from officers and community members.

Graves has a track record of working with community organizations, fellow officers, prosecutors and others, Lucas said.

“She’s somebody’s who’s going to do the work to make sure that past any personalities and any politics, we’re trying to get things done,” Lucas said. “And I think in connection with the DOJ investigation, any lawsuits, anything that comes up, you’ll see this department be as open as it can.”