Deputy Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté has been named the city’s first African American police chief, the Kansas City Star reports. Forté, 49, was widely viewed as the favorite for the top job. He won the endorsement of the city's Fraternal Order of Police and had strong support from the community as a lifelong Kansas City resident. “I'll be open, honest and accessible,” he said.
Board members voted unanimously for Forté last Friday. They were looking for someone with a sense of urgency to address the city's violent crimes, someone who has the vision to move the department to the next level, President Pat McInerney said. He beat out four other finalists: Deputy Chief Kevin Masters, former Deputy Chief Vince Ortega, Fayetteville, N.C., Police Chief Tom Bergamine,and former Rochester, N.Y., Police Deputy Chief George Markert, who recently became director of his city's Office of Public Integrity. Forté became a deputy chief in 2006. He oversees the department's financial and capital improvement units. He's known as humble, fair, open-minded and enthusiastic. He has a reputation for being level-headed and spent 6½ years in homicide and violent crimes. Forté succeeds Jim Corwin, who retired last month after 32 years with the department.