KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As violent crime continues to be a problem in Kansas City, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has appointed a new member to the city’s Board of Police Commissioners on Thursday.
Northland business operator Dawn Cramer is the newest commissioner, replacing attorney Nathan Garrett who stepped down in June.
But the governor’s decision doesn’t satisfy everyone who lobbied that the police board needed diversity and representation for neighborhoods that are plagued with crime. Cramer hails from the Northland, and many activists were hoping for a new commissioner from east Kansas City.
Cramer is a native Texan who moved to Kansas City in 2007. She and her husband operate Cramer Capital Management, and they’ve worked in the real estate industry. She’s also served the community, working on the Clay County Domestic Violence Board. But she doesn’t have experience in law enforcement or the legal field.
The Kansas City Police Department sent FOX4 the following statement about Parson’s appointment: “We are excited about the experience Commissioner Cramer will bring to the Board and look forward to working with her on the important issues in our city.”
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said he recommended a bipartisan list of candidates to the governor for consideration, and “as is his right, he elected not to choose from that group.”
“I do not know Ms. Cramer, but look forward to meeting her and working with her, so that no more mothers and fathers need to bury their children due to violence on our city’s streets,” Lucas said. “Our residents deserve a safer city. I hope she will join me on that mission.”
Beyond city leadership, some community activists FOX4 spoke with weren’t in favor of the decision.
“It’s horrible. The governor appears to be tone-deaf — and at a time when we need more diversity on that board,” said Gwen Grant, CEO of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City.
Cramer’s appointment means the five-member police board still includes only two Black members, including Lucas.
Community leaders have rallied for big changes within the Kansas City Police Department ranks after a two-year stretch filled with demands for social justice. Many argue this doesn’t satisfy the call from an increasingly diverse city.