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Kansas City anti-crime activist Alvin Brooks at 90: 'I hope we raised some questions'

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Elderly man wearing a sport jacket and felt hat talks inside a radio studio.
Carlos Moreno
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KCUR 89.3
Alvin Brooks said he hopes the next Kansas City Police chief comes from outside of the department.

Iconic Kansas Citian Alvin Brooks will be presented with the Henry W. Bloch Human Relations Award from the Jewish Community Relations Bureau.

In honor of Alvin Brooks' decades of public service, he's set to receive the prestigious Henry W. Bloch Humans Relations Award on Sunday. Brooks, 90, has won awards in the past, but he said this one is just different.

"It's sort of like the granny of them all, I think," said Brooks. "What Henry Bloch stood for as well as the award itself, the kind of person Henry was in terms of crisscrossing race and religion and ethnicity and those kinds of things... this is quite an honor and I'm humbled by it."

The founder of the AdHoc Group Against Crime, Brooks has served Kansas City since the 1950s. He began as a policeman during the Jim Crow era, eventually representing constituents on the city council and serving on the Board of Police Commissioners.

As the Kansas City Police Department continues the search for its next chief, Brooks said that person needs to come from the outside.

"I've been advocating for an outsider, someone who had the kind of experience of a multicultural, multiracial city like we are, 318 square miles and half a million people, and a department that's had some bad publicity and things happen in the last few years."

  • Alvin Brooks, civic leader in Kansas City
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