By Michael Bushnell

For the fifth of six community listening sessions, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Northeast Chamber of Commerce to host a community listening session last Thursday evening allowing community members the opportunity to have a say on important traits and practices in choosing the next Police Chief. 

Attendees were broken out in three separate groups to discuss what they wanted in the next chief in terms of department transparency and community engagement. 

According to Scott Hall, Vice President for Civic and Community initiatives for the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, the same trends seem to be emerging across the board.

“I would say right now, what we know is whether you’re from the east side of town, the west side of town, the north part of town, south part of town, or anywhere in between, everyone wants the next Chief of Police to be a great leader of the community,” Hall said. “A person who engages deeply with the residents of Kansas City, Missouri, and thinks about them as they do their job.”

Bobbi Baker-Hughes, Northeast Chamber of Commerce President stressed the importance of community input from the Historic Northeast community.

“Through the years, the Northeast community has had an excellent partnership with the police department,” Baker-Hughes noted. “We want that strategic partnership to continue as it’s a great benefit to our business community.”

According to Hall, Kansas City is modeling its chief search after the Dallas Police Department. That process played a key role in their chief selection and it strengthened the relationship between their Department and the Dallas business community.

After the conclusion of the listening sessions this week, all of the information gathered from the discussions will be synthesized and submitted to the Board of Police Commissioners for use in the search for the next chief. The results will also be posted on the Greater Kansas City Chamber’s website,, so the general public can view what came out of the listening sessions as well.

“This is just the beginning of the search process for the Board of Police Commissioners,” Hall said. “There may be some other opportunities as the search process evolves, for the community to get and remain engaged, and so this may just be step one in how a member of the community can get engaged.”

For residents who were unable to participate in the listening sessions, the Greater Kansas City Chamber is offering an online survey, found at: