As Kansas City’s police chief, Darryl Forté is focused on mending a historical disconnect between the department and the minority community, says the Kansas City Star. Three years into his stint as the city's first black police chief, Forté is succeeding, many say. “Because of him, more people are comfortable talking to the police,” said Rosalyn Temple, chapter president of Kansas City Mothers in Charge, a group of women who have lost children to homicide and work to prevent more killing. Forté makes it a point to visit every homicide scene, and he regularly meets with community groups to an extent no previous chief ever did. People see that and see that he cares, says Temple.
Improving the department's relationship with the community and reducing violent crime were two of the key parts of the 37-page strategic plan Forté prepared before he interviewed for the chief's job. His vision meshed nicely with what the Board of Police Commissioners was looking for in a new chief in 2011. In Forté, the board tapped a lifelong Kansas City resident who spent his entire 26-year career with the department and who wasted no time in working to reshape the organization. Even before he was sworn in, the new chief reassigned more than 50 of the department's top commanders. Three years into his tenure, he said his work to improve police-community relations is the thing he is most proud of so far. He hears it from people everywhere he goes, he said.