Tonganoxie police chief returns from active duty with reserves
Ken Carpenter has returned to his post as Tonganoxie's police chief.
Carpenter, who served on active duty for the U.S. Army reserves for the past eight months, was back full-time with the department Sept. 22.
"It feels good to be back," Carpenter said.
The police chief actually has been in Tonganoxie from time to time during his service. Because he had stateside duty, he occasionally would check in on weekends when he was in the area.
Even though he hasn't been involved in day-to-day operations for some time, Carpenter said the transition back into the department has been smooth.
"I was lucky that I had good, competent people to run the department in my absence," Carpenter said. "Both Johnny Putthoff and Mark Williams did a great job."
Those officers assumed Carpenter's duties while he was serving in the military.
In August, however, the department was dealt a loss when Williams, who had been with the Tonganoxie force for 10 years, died following a heart attack. Williams, a lieutenant, had served as acting chief in Carpenter's absence.
After Williams' death, Putthoff was promoted to lieutenant and Larry Burns was promoted to acting sergeant. Carpenter said Burns will remain in that position for the next few months.
"It's up in the air," Carpenter said. "We're looking at different possibilities of reorganizing the department.
"He'll be acting sergeant at least until the end of the year."
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