KCPD Chief Rick Smith gets Twitter-dunked into abandoning Republican event appearance alongside Greitens, McCloskeys

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Police Chief Rick Smith revoked his attendance to a GOP event following concern from Mayor Quinton Lucas about appointed officials attending partisan events. // Image courtesy of KCPD

After “careful consideration” and criticism from Mayor Quinton Lucas, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith will no longer be a guest of honor at the Jackson County Republican Committee’s Reagan-Lincoln Day dinner next week.

This decision follows concerns from Lucas about the implications of a police chief openly attending a partisan event. The committee sent out an invitation Wednesday with Smith’s name on the schedule, which immediately sparked backlash.

Lucas pointed out this would go against the routine practice of appointed officials to remain objective, but Smith has attended politically affiliated events before. Just last year, he attended former President Donald Trump’s announcement of expansion to federal law enforcement initiative Operation LeGend.

Several notable figures remain on the guest list, such as former Gov. Eric Greitens who recently announced a Senate run after leaving his position in the midst of scandal in 2018 and St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey who were filmed threatening protestors with firearms last year. But Smith will no longer be among them.

“Particularly now when enhancing community trust is a primary goal for police departments across the country, I’d encourage ours and its leadership to retain objectivity and independence to the fullest extent,” Lucas says. “There are uniformed political actors in unions who can substitute.”

Categories: Politics