By Allen Edmonds
After more than 35 years, a change of the guard at the helm of the Belton Police Department is just over a month away.
City Manager Alexa Barton announced Thursday the hiring of Scott Lyons to replace longtime Chief James Person, who retires this spring. Lyons will take over the position March 1.
The search considered more than 35 candidates generated by executive recruitment firm Baker Tilly and led by public sector executive recruitment consultant Art Davis out of the firm’s Kansas City offices.
“Chief Lyons has exceptional people skills with strong experience in law enforcement agencies and an impressive record of serving the community,” said Alexa Barton. “The Belton Police Department and the city’s leadership team are excited to see the new chief hit the ground running to address the priorities of our community.”
A native of Blue Springs, Lyons brings 30 years of local law enforcement experience, a majority with the Lee’s Summit Police Department where he served as a major overseeing both administration and operations.
Most recently, Lyons served six years as police chief for the city of Papillion, Neb., a community of 24,000 with a Commission of Accredited Law Enforcement Agency (CALEA) accredited police department that has 53 employees and a $7.8 million annual budget.
Papillion Mayor David Black thanked Lyons for his service and wished him well in the future, according to an Omaha World-Herald article published on Thursday.
“Scott has expertly led the Papillion Police Department and achieved many accomplishments in his six years,” Black said in a released statement.
“He has sharpened the department’s focus on community-oriented policing and led PPD to achieving the reputable CALEA accreditation. I thank him for his impact and wish him well in his new role.”
Lyons received his master’s degree in criminal justice administration from the University of Central Missouri at Warrensburg and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Scott also attended and is a graduate of the FBI Academy and the Northwestern University Police Staff and Command School.
“Belton has a great quality of life and is the perfect place for our family to relocate and for me to continue a career in law enforcement,” said Lyons. “I am humbled to be selected for this position and am looking forward to assisting the men and women of the Belton Police Department in their efforts to provide exceptional services to the community.”