Black Kansas City Chief Helps Keep Calm in Minority Areas

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Unlike Ferguson and other cities where there have been violent confrontations with police over law enforcement shootings, Kansas City has remained an oasis of relative calm. Police Chief, Darryl Forté, who comes from the inner city where much crime takes place, is working to keep it that way, the Wall Street Journal reports. Since he was named Kansas City’s first African-American chief in 2011, Forté, 54, has redeployed officers to crime-ridden areas, helped oversee a program targeting violent offenders, and tries to visit every homicide scene, often on his motorcycle. “There used to be a hole in the community—police on the one side, the community on the other,” said Rosilyn Temple of KC Mothers in Charge, a crime-prevention group. “There was no one there before him to bridge the gap.”

About 30 percent of the city’s population of 459,787 was black in 2010. The fact that gunman Gavin Long, who killed three officers in Baton Rouge, La., last Sunday before being fatally shot by other police, was from Kansas City is seen by some here as an irony. Dallas’s police force is also headed by a black man, David Brown, whose department has drawn similar praise for better relations with the African-American community. The Kansas City and Dallas chiefs are friends. After black gunman Micah Johnson killed five Dallas officers before he was killed July 7, Forté sent Brown a message of support.

 

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