KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Within months, the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department will no longer have Rick Smith at the helm.
KCPD Public Information Officer Leslie Foreman said Smith will retire "sometime in the upcoming year."
Foreman said Smith will announce a date in advance "to ensure a smooth transition."
The announcement comes just four days after a KCPD detective was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and armed criminal action in the 2019 shooting death of Cameron Lamb.
Smith took on the role in August 2017. Foreman told KSHB 41 News when Smith was hired, he told the Board of Police Commissioners he would hold the position no more than five years.
Smith had made no prior public comment on plans to retire in the near future.
The abrupt announcement comes after KCPD spokespeople repeatedly told KSHB 41 News over the last year and a half that they knew of no plans for Smith to leave the department.
Several social justice groups and even city council members have called for his resignation.
Among chief complaints are that Smith does not seem committed to real police reform, the groups said.
They also make a case for local control of the police force.
As it stands, KCPD is controlled by the Board of Police Commissioners, which reports to state, not local, officials.
The next BOPC meeting is scheduled for Dec. 14.