MCKINNEY (CBSDFW.COM) - CBS 11 News has learned that Chief Doug Kowalski is no longer with the McKinney Police Department. City officials say the chief has been reassigned to another area and won't comment further.
McKinney Deputy City Manager Joe Williams has been named Interim Chief. He was the former police chief in Celina and has 20 years of experience in law enforcement.
Kowalski has been police chief in McKinney for 12 years, after leaving a high-ranking position with the Dallas Police Department in 2000. Sources said that he is leaving over "philosophical differences" with City Manager Jason Gray. "There's been a change in command at the McKinney Police Department at my direction," said Gray, who declined to address the reason for his decision.
Mayor Brian Loughmiller says even he didn't know the decision was coming. "I just found out about this this morning as well."
But Loughmiller had nothing but praise for his former chief. "I think he's a fine man
and think he's done a good job for the city over that time period and I wish him well, but ultimately from our perspective that's why we hired a city manager."
Because of his high-ranking position, Kowalski has been reassigned as a special assistant to the city manager for 30 days, while he works out an exit agreement and severance package.
His accomplishments include overseeing a department that doubled in size along with the city and a new police headquarters.
Kowalski is known for keeping a low profile, even during high profile cases such as a quadruple murder which stunned the city in 2004.
He's credited with keeping crime down but his department was recently criticized for a delayed investigation into molestation complaints against a McKinney chiropractor.
Despite his removal, the city's mayor offered praise.
Officers were stunned to hear the news, and had no indication that a change at the top was coming.
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