Springfield Mayor Mike Houston has named an interim police chief.
Commander Kenny Winslow will take over until a permanent replacement for Robert Williams is chosen. Winslow has served as commander in the field operations division since 2010.
“It’s going to be a little bit of a learning experience,” says Winslow. “But I’m up for the challenge, I’m up for the task. I’ve got the people around me who I think can help us move forward and do it successfully.”
He says he’s considering applying for the full time position.
The replacement comes amidst Williams’ retirement following fallout from the police document shredding scandal. Williams allegedly ordered the shredding of internal police affairs files after they’d been lawfully requested under the freedom of information act. The files dealt with the 2008 arrest of now Deputy Police Chief Cliff Buscher.
“We need back the trust of the community, the police department as well as the city council,” says Winslow. “This has been a black eye on the department, we need to move forward, we need to communicate, we need to reach out to people and assure them we’re doing the best we can.