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Home » News » City of Lee’s Summit Selects W. Travis Forbes...

City of Lee’s Summit Selects W. Travis Forbes as Police Chief

City of Lee’s Summit Selects W. Travis Forbes as Police Chief

July 16, 2014

Travis Forbes


After a national search and extensive interviews with staff and community-wide stakeholders, the City of Lee’s Summit proudly announces the selection of W. Travis Forbes as the new police chief.

Forbes will join the City on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 after having served in law enforcement for 22 years for the City of Independence, Missouri, most recently as deputy police chief since 2013.

“I am excited about the opportunity to work in the growing, future-focused community of Lee’s Summit.  The Lee’s Summit Police Department (LSPD) is a high-quality, professional organization that is well respected in the law enforcement community.  I look forward to working with the public, local government, businesses, civilian employees, and officers to maintain a safe and desirable City for all to thrive in,” said Forbes.

In regard to hiring Forbes, Lee’s Summit City Manager Stephen Arbo said, “Travis currently serves one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the Kansas City metropolitan area.   As our City continues to grow both in population and commercial activity, it is important to have a leader familiar with a larger city and organization.”  

City Manager Arbo went on to say he has also “shown commitment to many of the law enforcement programs and strategies that has made us successful in Lee’s Summit.  We are looking forward to his arrival and becoming a part of our organization.”

In his new position with LSPD, Forbes replaces Joe Piccinini, who resigned from the City on January 17, 2014.  Lee’s Summit Police Department Major Scott Lyons has been serving as the City’s interim police chief for the last seven months.  

In regard to Lyons’ management of the LSPD during this interim phase, City Manager Arbo said, “Major Lyons served our community well in this capacity. We are fortunate that he was available to step up to this leadership position and carry out the mission of the Lee’s Summit Police Department.  I am grateful for his service during the last seven months and will look forward to his continued support of our community well into the future,” said City Manager Arbo.

Interim Police Chief Lyons commented, “I have known Travis for a great number of years, as a personal friend, colleague, and have served side-by-side with him at a drug task force.  He is a tremendous person, and has a high degree of professionalism and integrity.  I am honored that he was selected as Police Chief.  I will be dedicating my efforts towards supporting his success.  I want to thank the command staff and employees of the Lee’s Summit Police Department for their commitment during the last seven months of transition.  I know we all are looking forward to new leadership, and our continuing commitment to excellence.”

The police chief selection process was an extensive one that began with listening posts with stakeholders in the community to gain an understanding of what is desired in a new police chief.  This was a major factor in the hiring process along with a wide-range of public safety experience.

Forbes has an extensive and diverse background in law enforcement, most of which has been with the City of Independence.

While serving as deputy police chief, he represented the police department during union contract negotiations, City Council meetings, and professional organization meetings. He authored the department’s five-year strategic plan and provided oversight of a multi-jurisdictional radio system upgrade, facility rehabilitation, and communications building projects.

Prior to serving as the deputy police chief, he moved up the ranks within the department.  He served as police officer/detective from 1992-1998; police sergeant from 1998-2003; and police captain from 2003-2006; and police major from 2006 – 2013.  He has also served as an adjunct college professor teaching more than 20 different courses in criminal justice, management, and public administration at five different universities and colleges. 

Forbes has a Master of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska at Omaha and a Bachelor of Science in Management/Human Resources from Park University.  He also has attained additional training from the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and areas focused on problem-oriented policing, effective media relations, government supervision, and grant funding.

He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, Missouri Police Chiefs Association, and the University of Nebraska-Omaha Chapter of Pi Alpha Alpha Public Administration Honor Society.  He is a former board member of the Child Protection Center as well as the recipient of the City of Independence Employee of the Month in 2009, and the Independence Police Department’s Officer of the Month in July 1995 and August 1999.

Forbes’ father is the police chief in Lone Jack, Mo., and his late grandfather was a trooper with the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

His wife, Michelle, is a middle school business teacher in the Fort Osage School District. They have three children, 20-year-old Tanner, 21-year-old Logan, and 15-year-old Raven.

Please join the City of Lee’s Summit in welcoming W. Travis Forbes to the community, the LSPD, and the City organization.



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