CPD Chief Mark Francisco

Mark Francisco was named the new chief of the Cheyenne Police Department on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021. Courtesy

CHEYENNE – Mark Francisco has been chosen as the new chief of the Cheyenne Police Department.

Mayor Patrick Collins announced Francisco’s hiring Wednesday afternoon. Francisco will leave his current position as deputy chief of the Kansas City Police Department’s Investigation Bureau, and start as Cheyenne’s chief no later than April 1, according to a news release.

In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Francisco said he was “humbled” to be chosen as the new chief, and that he and his wife “couldn’t be more excited” to be part of such an iconic American city.

“I love Wyoming, and I’m beyond excited to get to come out there and be part of the police team and part of the community,” Francisco said, adding that he had been “impressed” with the members of CPD upon meeting them last week.

CPD Captain Nathan Buseck, who has been serving as acting chief since early January, and Greeley (Colorado) Police Department Commander Aaron Carmichael were also considered for the role. Buseck, Carmichael and Francisco all participated in in-person interviews Feb. 9 and 10. Collins said he formed a five-person committee of former law enforcement officials to help him narrow down the pool of applicants.

“We’re thrilled someone of Mark’s caliber and professional experience will serve the people of Cheyenne as our next police chief,” Collins said in the release. “I look forward to him joining our team and introducing him to our community. I extend my thanks to all those who applied. We were fortunate to have several outstanding candidates. I’m confident Mark will serve our community well.”

What stuck out to Collins about Francisco was his extensive experience in a variety of roles with the Kansas City Police Department, Collins said in a Wednesday interview.

“He’s done everything in the department, so he’s got a great, well-rounded background, which I think will lead to his ability to manage the whole department,” he said.

Collins also noted Francisco’s love of Wyoming, having visited the state often with his family while growing up. Francisco previously told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle his fondness for the state prompted him to apply for the job.

In an early February interview with the WTE, Francisco said he would begin his tenure as chief by doing a lot of listening and asking questions. He called himself “an open, honest, approachable person,” and said he values community connections and relationships.

“I think it’s important to learn the culture of the organization and the community itself and, you know, seek to build those bridges and seek input on what the community desires to be done,” he said at the time.

Francisco has served Kansas City, Missouri’s police department since 1991. Beginning as a sergeant, he served in various captain positions from 2001 to 2005. He was promoted to Major Division Commander of the department’s Fiscal Division in 2015, followed by a promotion to Major Executive Officer in the Chief’s Office in 2018. In April 2019, Francisco was promoted to deputy chief of the Executive Services Bureau, where he was responsible for an annual budget of $256 million and 1,920 members.

In December 2019, Francisco became deputy chief of the Investigations Bureau, where he managed and lead 349 employees within four divisions: violent crimes, narcotics and vice, property crimes and the law enforcement resource center.

Francisco served as a first lieutenant in the United States Army Reserves from 1987 to 1997 and earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Central Missouri State University, now known as the University of Central Missouri, in 1987. He has additional training from the Senior Management Institute for Police and the Police Executive Leadership Institute.

Hannah Black is the Wyoming Tribune Eagle’s criminal justice reporter. She can be reached at hblack@wyomingnews.com or 307-633-3128. Follow her on Twitter at @hannahcblack.

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