KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After weeks of search and recruitment, the Kansas City, Missouri, Board of Police Commissioners has selected three finalists for the city's next chief of police.
The community had a chance to meet the three candidates on Saturday via a public town hall.
All three were asked the same 10 questions from the BOPC, followed by three questions from community members that were chosen at random.
The candidates touched on topics ranging from crime and mental health to racism and the community’s relationship with KCPD, working to prove why they should be the next chief.
“I’m committed to the betterment and safety of this city," said finalist Stacey Graves, the only internal recommendation of the three. "I have spent over 25 years with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, readying me for this position."
Another finalist, Scott Ebner, comes from New Jersey with experience as a retired state police lieutenant colonel.
“Some have come through patrol or investigations or maybe administration or public information — I’ve done all of them for a very long time and have been very successful,” Ebner said.
The remaining finalist, DeShawn Beaufort, comes from the Philadelphia Police Department where he has served as an inspector.
“I got into policing because I wanted people to understand that it can be done the right way, because I saw what policing was like when it was done by officers who did not do it the right way,” he said.
When asked what qualities would be ideal in a new chief, town hall attendee Taylor Jackson said accountability and transparency.
Others agreed, adding they hope the new chief can find balance in leading with their head and their heart.
“I’m looking for a chief that understands what empathy is, understands what service is rather than policing,” said Lakiesha Cotton, who attended Saturday's town hall. “I’m looking for a chief that understands trauma — that historic trauma that has happened to communities, especially Black and Brown communities, and marginalized communities.”
Attendee Debra Newton also noted she hopes the new chief will reimagine how to prioritize crime concerns.
“Crime is one of the top priorities, but again, establishing just community involvement with the different areas of the system,” she said.