Archive for Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Baldwin hires new police chief

December 10, 2002

The search is over. Baldwin City has a new police chief.

Monday night the Baldwin City Council unanimously chose Mike McKenna, 56, a retired Wichita police officer, as head of the local police department.

McKenna, who was one of four finalists picked by a search committee, takes over the Baldwin City Police Department position, which was left vacant after Steve Butell's resignation earlier this year.

McKenna, a native of Wichita, said he plans to start getting acquainted with the police department and the town next week, but will officially begin the job on Jan. 2.

"It'll be a new year with a new chief," McKenna said.McKenna, and his wife Debbie, will be moving to Baldwin in the next few weeks. The couple has two adult sons, ages 20 and 24.

This is McKenna's first position as police chief, but he has 29 years of law enforcement experience behind him.

"I've been in charge of everything," he said.

McKenna, whose father, grandfather and uncle are in law enforcement, began his career as an officer in Coffeyville. After six years in Coffeyville, he moved back to Wichita where he was attending Wichita State University while working as an officer for the Wichita Police Department.

Over the next few years, he received a bachelors degree and a masters degree in criminal justice from WSU, while moving up the ranks in the police department.

For additional information on the new police chief, read Wednesday's issue of the Baldwin City Signal.

During his tenure with the Wichita Police Department, McKenna was a patrol lieutenant, an administrative lieutenant, a police department spokesperson and a lieutenant in charge of a detective unit that dealt with more serious crimes.

He has also been awarded several medals, including the Medal of Valor.

He said he thought his background would play an important role as police chief.

"I think it's going to help me a great deal," he said. "I have the experience of a small town police department as well as the knowledge and skills of a big police department."

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