Kansas City’s new police chief talks priorities

Published: Jan. 9, 2023 at 10:34 PM CST
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - On Monday evening, community members got a chance to hear from the KCPD’s new police chief.

“My top priority is building bridges,” said Chief Stacey Graves.

Graves spoke before a standing-room-only crowd at South Patrol as she laid out her plans for the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department.

“We just need to break down this adversarial wall that exists in our community between the community and the police department,” Graves said.

Graves said her way of taking down that wall starts with being present and transparent.

“I’m really open to talk about anything,” she said. “Nothing is off the table with me.”

A number of people, from community members to KC metro organization leaders, took Chief Graves up on that offer. They asked her questions about a number of issues the city faces.

Chief Graves said the department will work on a number of things going forward, including:

  • Addressing the violent crime that’s plagued the city for years
  • Regularly seeking feedback from community members on ways to fix problems in the community
  • Working on hiring new officers and keeping them
  • Providing support and resources for the homeless
  • Focusing on youth in an effort to combat violence involving youth

She said that, in order to accomplish any of her goals, it starts with building a strong relationship with the community.

“As a police chief, this will be what our police department will be under my leadership,” Chief Graves said. “It will be open. There are going to be some uncomfortable conversations we are going to have with each other, and we may be in situations where we may not like what each other says. We need to agree to disagree, hear each other, and listen.”

Graves said she won’t be perfect in this new role and will make mistakes, but she just hopes she can achieve her main goal of bringing the police and community together.