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KCPD chief declines invitation to Jackson County GOP event

KCPD Chief Rick Smith
Posted at 11:20 AM, Apr 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-08 12:20:08-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Rick Smith says he plans to decline an invitation to a Jackson County Republican event later this month.

In an e-mail to 41 Action News, Smith said he was invited to the Jackson County GOP’s annual Reagan-Lincoln Day Dinner on Saturday, April 17 on behalf of the police department.

However, Smith said he would decline the invitation.

“It is becoming apparent that my attendance at the event would be a distraction,” Smith said in a statement to 41 Action News. “After careful consideration, I will respectfully decline the invitation to the event.”

Earlier Thursday, Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas took to Twitter in a post that, while not mentioning Chief Smith by name, seemed to call into question appointed officials attending political events.

“Never in Kansas City have I seen our apolitical appointees—be it a police chief, city manager, or fire chief—engage as featured guests/speakers in partisan political events or causes,” Lucas said in the tweet. “The reasons not to do so are numerous and apparent. I would hope this does not change.”

The event is slated to include two candidates - former Gov. Eric Greitens and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt - who are running for the Republican nomination to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.

Also slated to appear are Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who rose to fame last summer during an encounter with protesters outside their St. Louis home