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New police chief named in Kansas City, Kansas

May 7, 2021 GMT
Karl Oakman speaks after Unified Government of Wyandotte County officials named him as the next police chief for Kansas City, Kan., during a press conference on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Kan. Oakman is currently a deputy chief in the Kansas City Police Department. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)
Karl Oakman speaks after Unified Government of Wyandotte County officials named him as the next police chief for Kansas City, Kan., during a press conference on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Kan. Oakman is currently a deputy chief in the Kansas City Police Department. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)
Karl Oakman speaks after Unified Government of Wyandotte County officials named him as the next police chief for Kansas City, Kan., during a press conference on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Kan. Oakman is currently a deputy chief in the Kansas City Police Department. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)
Karl Oakman speaks after Unified Government of Wyandotte County officials named him as the next police chief for Kansas City, Kan., during a press conference on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Kan. Oakman is currently a deputy chief in the Kansas City Police Department. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)
Karl Oakman speaks after Unified Government of Wyandotte County officials named him as the next police chief for Kansas City, Kan., during a press conference on Friday, May 7, 2021, in Kan. Oakman is currently a deputy chief in the Kansas City Police Department. (Shelly Yang/The Kansas City Star via AP)

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A police veteran who spent nearly three decades with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department is crossing the state line to lead the department in Kansas City, Kansas.

Wyandotte County Administrator Doug Bach announced Friday that Karl A. Oakman will begin duties next month as the chief in Kansas City, Kansas. He replaces interim Chief Michael York, who has served in that role since the 2019 departure of former Chief Terry Zeigler.

Oakman will oversee a department with about 345 sworn officers and 150 civilian employees.

During his time in Kansas City, Missouri, Oakman developed initiatives focused on inclusion, community policing, youth engagement, recruitment and officer wellness. He has served as deputy chief since 2017 and commands the Patrol Bureau.

“It is a great honor to return home and serve the Kansas City, Kansas community and members of the police department,” Oakman said in a news release. “When the police department and community collaborate, great things can be accomplished.”

Oakman was chosen over three other finalists, including Kansas City, Kansas, Deputy Chief Pamela Waldeck.