Police chief leaving for duty
Military preparations have forced a temporary change in the Tonganoxie Police department.
Police Chief Ken Carpenter on Sunday was called up in the Army reserves and on Monday, Mayor John Franiuk announced that Mark Williams would be the acting chief, John Putthoff would be acting assistant chief and officer Larry Burns would be acting sergeant.
Carpenter, who is in the 917th Corps Support Group from Belton, Mo., has spent about 18 months in the reserves after being in the Army National Guard for 20 years. Before that, he spent four years active and two inactive with the Marine Corps.
Dressed in Army fatigues Monday, Carpenter spoke briefly to the city council.
"I'm a little worried it may run better when I'm gone and it may make me look bad," Carpenter said with a chuckle.
Carpenter said he could be gone anywhere from six months to a year, although he expected it to be closer to six months.
In the meantime, Williams and Putthoff will share some of the administrative duties, but the interim position is nothing new to Williams.
When Bill Adkins stepped down from the chief position Jan. 1, 2000, Williams served until Carpenter was hired Jan. 21 of that year.
Discussion about Carpenter's possible departure has been brewing for about three months, Williams said.
The acting chief also said that the preparations have been smooth.
"Fortunately we have a matured and responsible department," Williams said.
Along with Carpenter's years of military service, he's been in law enforcement for 32, with a majority being spent in the Roeland Park police department.
In his absence at the current department, Williams said everything should stay the same.
"We'll miss him and miss his leadership, but because of a good standard operation procedure that's in place, we'll be able to function and operate normal," Williams said.