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"Black History Happening Now"! First Black Mayor in Kansas City, Kansas

I am excited to announce and celebrate "black history happening NOW" in Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas. We have new leadership in our county that is black, intelligent, servant leaders, warriors of justice, and yet personable enough to speak to constituents with care and authenticity. It is my pleasure to introduce these individuals to this newsletter. It is noteworthy to see and celebrate a change in our leadership. Wyandotte County is one of the counties with the largest amount of diversity not only in the state of Kansas but also in the United States of America.

Black history is being made now as we celebrate the accomplishments of black people around our country and around the world. Mayor Tyrone Garner is the first black mayor in Wyandotte County, Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Garner is on record as the youngest recorded African American promoted to the ranks of Detective, Captain, Major, and Deputy Police Chief of Police within the Kansas City Kansas Police Department. Mr. Garner was the first and only African American KCK Police Officer to attend and graduate from the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and was the first African American male Commander to ever command the western portion of KCKS. Mayor Garner retired from the KCK police department in 2019. He comes with an impressive resume, but we have seen Mayor Garner working in the community for years. He has volunteered in so many organizations. He has been an advocate for high-risk youth and has been very active with the community for years.

Mayor Garner hired a new county administrator immediately after receiving the office as Mayor. He hired Cheryl Harrison-Lee as the first black and first female to hold the county administrator's office in Kansas City, Kansas. Cheryl Harrison-Lee was appointed to the Kansas Board of Regents by Governor Laura Kelly in 2019. She was the CEO of HLDC, a management consulting firm, and served as the chief technical advisor for the City of Kansas City, Missouri providing expertise on the Central City Sales Tax.

Regent Harrison-Lee was appointed by Governor Kelly to serve as Executive Director for the Office of Recovery and led the effort to establish the framework, strategic priorities, and financial reporting for use of the $1.034 billion CARES federal allocation to the State of Kansas to address the impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Dr. Anna Stubblefield previously served as the Deputy Superintendent for Lawrence Public Schools. She worked in that position since 2018 after serving as the Interim Superintendent for the 2017-18 school year. As Deputy Superintendent, she oversaw Human Resources, Special Education and Student Services, Curriculum and Instruction, and the Lawrence Virtual School. She was also instrumental in Lawrence Public Schools equity work. Before that, she served as Lawrence’s Assistant Superintendent, Director of Human Resources, and as a middle school principal. She began her career in education as a teacher and thereafter transitioned into new roles as a coach and assistant principal in the Blue Valley and Center School Districts.

Mark A. Dupree, Sr., is the District Attorney of Wyandotte County, KS, the 4th largest county in the State of Kansas. Mr. Dupree leads an office of (63) employees and manages a significant budget each fiscal year. Mr. Dupree was sworn into office on January 9th, 2017. The District Attorney’s office is responsible for keeping the community safe. D.A. Dupree and his team of excellent employees are implementing strategic and visionary policies to expand the function of the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office.

Dupree’s focus is equitably charging and prosecuting crime, being proactive, attacking violent crimes and crimes that affect the standard of living in the community. He said that he is focused on implementing the platform the citizens of Wyandotte County elected me to execute.” Mark’s four-point plan for making Wyandotte County safer, includes 1. Smart Prosecution; 2. Community Prosecutor’s Unit; 3. Fiscal Responsibility, and 4. Youth Investment.

Chief Karl Oakman was a member of the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department for approximately 26 years. He was the Administration Bureau Commander, which contains the Property and Evidence Unit, Regional Crime Lab, Police Records Unit, Human Resources Division, and the Information Technology Division. Chief Oakman held the position of city liaison from 2015 to 2017. As the city liaison Deputy Chief Oakman worked side by side with the Mayor, City Manager, and Council to address public safety needs between the city of Kansas City and the Police Department. He received a Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Northwest Missouri State University and Columbia College. He also has attended numerous specialized leadership schools and training seminars. Deputy Chief Oakman is a 2018 graduate of the Police Executive Leadership Institute (PELI). PELI is the premier training program for future police chiefs of America. Deputy Chief Oakman also served on several civic and public safety boards. During his 25 years on the KCMO police department he has been assigned to the following units: East Patrol Division, Detective in the Vice Unit, Homicide Unit, and Drug Enforcement Unit. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1999 and has held supervisory positions in the following units: Central Patrol Division, Sex Crimes Unit, and Employment Unit. In 2006, he was promoted to Captain and has held commander positions at East Patrol Division, Employee Benefits Unit and the Employment Unit. The Employment Benefits Unit is responsible for the administration of all employee benefits and human resources and for developing and administering all the promotional processes for the Kansas City, Missouri police department. In 2011, he was promoted to major. As a major, he commanded 110 officers in the South Patrol Division of the Kansas City, Police Department, which is home to approximately 65,000 residents of various ethnic, cultural, and diverse economic backgrounds. In 2015, he commanded the Logistical Support Division, which included the Communications Unit, Fleet unit, and the Communications Support Unit. In January of 2017, he was promoted to Deputy Chief. Deputy Chief Oakman has worked throughout his career to create positive police and community relations.

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