Letter: Embattled police chief’s last day will be in April
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The embattled Kansas City police chief’s last day on the job will be in April, a draft agreement obtained by The Kansas City Star shows.
The letter was written after Chief Rick Smith met Tuesday with Mayor Quinton Lucas and the Board of Police Commissioners’ president, Mark Tolbert. The meeting came just four days after a Jackson County found Det. Eric DeValkenaere guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the 2019 shooting death of Cameron Lamb.
Capt. Leslie Foreman, a spokeswoman for the department said in a statement Tuesday that Smith would retire sometime in 2022. She said Smith made a commitment to stay in the position no more than five years when he was hired in August 2017.
But the new letter, which is addressed to Smith from Tolbert, provides more details. It says Smith will announce his retirement to the public on March 1, that his last day will be April 22 and that he will be compensated at his current salary through Aug. 31. Smith earns about $191,000 per year as chief.
There have been repeated calls for Smith to resign, including during last year’s racial justice protests. Smith’s departure is expected to come up when the police board meets Monday in closed session.