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Community leader Alvin Brooks advises KCMO Board of Police Commissioners to not select police chief Tuesday

Alvin L Brooks
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The new police chief of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department could be selected by the Board of Police Commissioners in a meeting Tuesday at 9:30 a.m.

Kansas City community leader Alvin Brooks released a letter urging the Board of Police Commissioners not to select a new chief on Tuesday.

90-year-old Brooks is the founder and president emeritus of AdHoc Group Against Crime, which aims to connect the Kansas City community to the justice system and provide resources. He also served with KCPD for 10 years from 1954-64, and on the BOPC for seven years from 2010-17.

On Dec. 5, the KCPD police board released the three finalists to fill the police chief vacancy left by former Chief Rick Smith's retirement.

The three candidates, KCPD Deputy Chief Stacey Graves, Philadelphia Police Department Inspector DeShawn Beaufort and retired New Jersey State Police Lt. Col. Scott Ebner, were questioned in a public town hall on Saturday.

In his letter sent to the BOPC, Brooks said he attended the community meeting, and described it as "a poor representation of our city of nearly a half million residents."

Brooks suggested the KCPD police board hold three additional public meetings featuring all candidates in various areas of the city: north of the river, mid-town and south Kansas City.

He also posed a question that he would like each of the candidates to answer: "How do you define Community Policing? If you are chosen to be our next Chief, how and where woud [sic] you start to implement Community Policing?"

Brooks says he developed a community policing model with former Police Chief Steve Bishop, and that the model was not implemented after Bishop left the department. He said he would be "more than happy" to share information on the policing model with the board.

Brooks said that cries have come from the city that "the Board has not been transparent in its deliberations in its search for a new Chief."

"I believe these suggestions can reduce some of the perception of lack of transparency," he wrote. "But I hasten to say that for the Board as a public body, honoring total transparency as provided by law is essential for the community to have faith and trust in your deliberations and conclusions, most especially in the selection of a Chief."