First Black Police Chief For KC | KCUR

First Black Police Chief For KC

Oct 7, 2011

Kansas City, MO. – Kansas City's next police chief will be a man who came up from bottom ranks of the department and is the first African American to lead the force. Darryl Forte' was unanimous choice of the Board of Police Commissioners.

The current deputy chief handling finance has worked as a district officer and supervisor of a homicide investigation squad. He has been a Kansas City police officer for 26 years.

The new chief outdistanced competition in a field of five finalists for the post.

Forte' has said he would, in his first 72 hours on the job, put more officers in highest violent crime areas. He would make veterans mentors of new minority officers to retain them and start work now to stave off violence sure to happen again next summer.

Forte' said his career choice came early--"I'm here today because when I was in the sixth grade I talked to a police officer at the corner of 76th and Monroe. And he told me about not stealing and not drinking and not smoking. I'm 49. I haven't done any of those things."

Asked about value of community policing and engaging young people, Forte' has said, " sometimes we don't know how many people we impact. So we just have to be out there and be where they are. And be mentors, whether it's formal or informal mentors."

The new chief will be sworn October 13th. He replaces former Chief Jim Corwin who retired last month.