Kansas City police board to hold closed-door meeting Monday on personnel issue

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The Board of Police Commissioners will convene Monday for a special meeting on personnel matters, the Kansas City Police Department said Wednesday.

The department did not specify what personnel issue the board will take up, but the closed-door meeting was called following reports that Rick Smith was being forced out of his position as police chief.

On Tuesday, Mayor Quinton Lucas and Board of Police Commissioners President Mark Tolbert met with Smith at City Hall.

No further details about the meeting were provided by the mayor’s office. But multiple sources said the board had the votes it needed to terminate Smith.

A memo obtained by The Star addressed to Smith from Tolbert says Smith will announce his retirement March 1 and his last day will be April 22.

The police department on Tuesday said only that Smith plans to retire next year.

The meeting at City Hall came four days after former Det. Eric DeValkenaere was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting death of Cameron Lamb in 2019.

Many community members have long called for Smith’s departure, citing the fatal shootings of several Black men by police, a tenuous relationship with the community which worsened last year during protests and an alarming number of homicides.

The special meeting Monday will start at 8 a.m.

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Dec. 14.

Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith discusses staffing issues within the police department during a meeting of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners on Sept. 28.
Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith discusses staffing issues within the police department during a meeting of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners on Sept. 28.
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