Kansas City mayor wants to be next president of police board

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mayor Quinton Lucas says he wants a chance at becoming the next president of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners.

He said typically when then board votes on a new president, the mayor isn’t considered. But he’d like to see that change in 2023 when the current board president Mark Tolbert’s tenure ends.

“I think it’s important that the people of Kansas City have a stronger voice on the board,” Lucas said. “The mayor of Kansas City has been a police commissioner for decades now.”

Lucas said the board votes on who will be president next and for how long. He wants to make sure when the vote happens, the city’s mayor is considered.

On Monday, when asked about the mayor’s request, Tolbert said that decision is up to the board.

“I don’t think the mayor gets any preference because he’s the mayor,” Tolbert said. “But he gets to be in that rotation because he is the member of the board.”

Tolbert said the last mayor who served as board president was Emmanuel Cleaver, now a U.S. Congressman, and it was a temporary decision because of circumstances at the time.

“We’ve had these same problem for years,” Lucas said. “Violence isn’t new, breaking homicide records isn’t new. This is a chance for us to try and say, ‘Let’s do something new.’”

The Missouri governor appoints all the positions on the board, except Kansas City’s mayor.

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