The Kansas City police board announced on Friday that Deputy Police Chief David Zimmerman will serve as the department’s interim leader until a permanent police chief is named.
In March, Chief Darryl Forté, unexpectedly announced that he would retire in May. Forté’s last day is May 20.
Zimmerman, who has been with the police department since 1983, will take over on May 21.
“The Board is honored to have Deputy Chief Zimmerman fill this vital position while we conduct our search for a new chief of police,” Leland M. Shurin, police board president said in a written statement.
Zimmerman has worked various assignments throughout his tenure with the police department. He worked as a patrol officer, a detective in the narcotics and vice division as well as an investigator with the department’s internal affairs unit. Zimmerman has supervised the budget unit and fiscal division. He was recently commander of the patrol bureau.
Zimmerman is a graduate of Oak Park High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and a master’s degree in public administration from Park University. In 2001, Zimmerman graduated from the FBI National Academy.
He is married to Jan Zimmerman, the police chief of Raymore.
The police board recently hired Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct a national search for a new chief.
Several internal and external candidates are expected to apply. The deadline to apply is May 31. The board will then meet with the firm to review the candidates and select the finalists. The new police chief is expected to be selected by late August or early September.
Forté has said that he plans to take a law school admission test and attend law school.
Forté became the city’s 44th police chief nearly six years ago. He has been credited for his leadership during a period where tensions between police and African-Americans escalated last year after fatal police shooting deaths in Kansas City and other communities.
Many city and community leaders said they were surprised when Forté announced that he was stepping down.
The police board will have a series of community forums to receive citizens’ input about who should be selected to be the city’s next police chief.
The forums will be held May 15 at Avila University, Whitfield Conference Room, 11901 Wornall Road; and May 16 at Mohart Multipurpose Center, 3200 Wayne Ave. They each begin at 6:30 p.m.