When Kansas City Police Chief Darryl Forté learned of the Dallas police shootings, he immediately sent a message to David Brown to offer his support, one big-city police chief to another.
Forté had watched his friend address the media during numerous news conferences and could sense the pain and anguish in his voice.
“I let him know I was thinking about him and that I was praying for him and to stay connected to his family as he was going through these difficult times,” Forté said Tuesday.
The two met five and a half years ago when they were both deputy police chiefs, Forté in Kansas City and Brown in Dallas.
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They often attended the same law enforcement conferences and shared stories about their experiences dealing with urban crime and administrative changes within their police departments.
When Forté worked to become the city’s first African-American police chief, he sought counsel and advice from Brown, who had already been selected as the police chief in Dallas.
“He’s a great chief and he deals with the same things that I deal with,” Forté said.
Forté knows there have been efforts to oust Brown from his job.
“But oftentimes when you are in a position and you try to change some things the majority don’t accept and it is like, ‘How dare you come and touch what you think is ours,’ ” Forté said. “So he has faced some of those issues.”
Forté said he and Brown have a lot in common. Both were born and raised in the cities where they serve as police chiefs. Brown often visits his mother, as does Forté. They both share a strong faith in God and the power of prayer.
“He’s a God-fearing man and that’s one of the things that I like about him,” he said. “We talk about God and there being a higher power and not to make it our mission to satisfy man.”
As police chiefs, he and Brown have faced those both inside and outside their departments who may doubt their ability or question their judgment.
“He’s very respectful of everyone. He appreciates everyone’s opinion and enjoys getting those divergent opinions just like I do, but he is going to make a decision based on what he knows as the chief,” Forté said. “He is going to do what he thinks is right for the entire community.”