Chief of Police
Karl A. Oakman was sworn in as the 32nd Chief of the Kansas City, Kansas Police Department on June 14, 2021. He was selected by officials with the Unified Government based on his nearly 30 years in law enforcement and his commitment to strengthen community relationships in order to reduce crime, improve trust and continue to develop a diverse professional workforce through transparency, officer wellness, training and career development. Oakman succeeded Interim Chief, Michael York, who served in the position since August of 2019.
A native of Kansas City, Kan., Oakman grew up in the Argentine Neighborhood where he graduated from J.C. Harmon High School. He considers it an honor to return home to serve the community and the men and women of the police department. Prior to his appointment as Chief, Oakman served for nearly 30 years with the Kansas City, Missouri Police Department rising to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police where he commanded the Patrol Bureau. He is also credited with successfully developing initiatives focused on inclusion, community policing, youth engagement, recruitment, and officer wellness.
Oakman holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Columbia College and is a graduate of the prestigious Police Executive Leadership Institute (PELI). He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Kansas Chiefs Association, and Metropolitan Chiefs and Sheriffs Association. He has received various awards including: KMBC Channel 9 Gold Award for Valor, Kansas City, Kansas Police Department Meritorious Service Award, Kansas Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police Silver Award for Valor, KCPD Distinguished Service Medal, KCPD Meritorious Service Award, and five KCPD Special Unit Citations.
Oakman and his wife, Radell, are the proud parents of two sons, Karl and Joshua.