Archive for Thursday, August 6, 2009

McKenna resigns as chief of Baldwin City Police Department

August 6, 2009, 12:46 p.m.

Updated: August 6, 2009, 4:35 p.m.

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.


Stacy Napier 9 years, 10 months ago

"McKenna was credited with straightening the department up and creating a more professional department "

I think that is a stretch. If anyone has ever dealt with McKenna they would realized wasnot a good cop. How many officers have then been through since he started. There is only one that has been on for longer than 2 years. That shows poor management if you can't keep any officers.

We need to disolve the police dept and pay the Sheriff to dedicate patrols in town. We would save a fortune.


pissedoff 9 years, 10 months ago

Thank GOD!!!!!& good riddance! pig of a man is a an embarsement to good police chiefs all over the U.S.


TheOnlyGreyghost 9 years, 10 months ago

Thank you. We were all waiting breathlessly for the illiterate contingent to register some semi-coherent thoughts so we would know how to react to the news.

I recall the police department being widely regarded as a laughingstock under Butell's "leadership."

McKenna did a great job cleaning house and (surprise, surprise) certain good ol' boys have carried a grudge ever since. Ain't that right, p'doff? When you get tired of doing your little happy dance over McKenna's leaving, sober up and remember this: Baldwin is very unlikely to go knocking on Butell's door with an invitation to return as chief. Get over it.


Stacy Napier 9 years, 10 months ago

No grudges here, but If you really knew how he ran the dept you would change your views.

Clean house, Yes he did that. about every year. Do you really want a police force that has no more than 1 or 2 years experience?


5659junction 9 years, 10 months ago

I bet there are at least 3 or 4 people in town that are willing to believe the spin Myrick put on this article. Kudos on creative journalism. The rest of us are intelligent enough to know McKenna was not an asset to this community and his departure was long overdue.


beanburito 9 years, 6 months ago

off the subject but his name was in the article. now that we have a new "sheriff" in town how about a look at Mayor Ken Wagner. The man owns a company that is based in our town yet his own personal truck is registered and tagged in MO, because it is cheaper. He has already been cited for employees having trucks tagged the same way and staying in Kansas. Has our local law enforcement been looking the other way or ignorant to this. Is he above the law? It is a small thing but he is willing to accept Kansas $ why not give it back to his community? An educated man he is but a law breaker too!


jmyrick 9 years, 6 months ago

Bean, you're commenting to an August story. Besides, it's a company truck, not his. Nothing wrong there, I'm afraid. He owns dealerships in Missouri, too.


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