McKenna resigns as chief of Baldwin City Police Department
Mike McKenna, who has been Baldwin City police chief since January of 2003, resigned today. The resignation is effective immediately.
McKenna resigned during a meeting with Mayor Ken Wagner and City Administrator Jeff Dingman Thursday morning. Wagner appointed Sgt. Greg Neis to serve as interim chief.
McKenna had just returned from vacation Thursday and said that it was time to move on.
“My wife and I had been vacationing and decided during that period of time, because of things going on in the family, it was time for me to return to Wichita and take care of family,” said McKenna.
Wagner said he hated to see McKenna go.
“I wish him well. I really do,” said Wagner.
A special meeting of the Baldwin City Council had been called for 4 p.m. today on items regarding the recently adopted budget for 2010. However, the resignation has prompted an executive session to discuss personnel matters related to McKenna’s resignation. The meeting was at City Hall.
After 20 minutes of executive session, the council voted 5-0 to approve Neis as interim chief.
McKenna took over as chief during a tumultuous time in the department. He replaced Steve Butell, who had resigned in the summer of 2002 amid various investigations, suspension and other public relations problems. McKenna was credited with straightening the department up and creating a more professional department by then City Administrator Larry Paine and then Mayor Ken Hayes.
McKenna came to Baldwin City from Wichita, where he had retired after 29 years of law enforcement, most of them with the Wichita police department. He had various positions there, including the detective unit that investigated more serious crimes. That included the case of BTK — Bind, Torture and Kill — that involved the murders 10 people in and around Wichita. Dennis Rader pleaded guilty to those crimes in 2005.
The Signal will update this story as more information becomes available.
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