Kearney makes room for a new police chief

Bryan Waugh - La Vista Police

There is a new chief in town. The city of Kearney officially announced Bryan Waugh as the new police chief after previous chief Dan Lynch retired in October.

Bryan Waugh has been on the force with the La Vista police department for 21 years. The Kearney city manager, Michael Morgan, said Waugh’s background was a great factor in choosing him for the position.

That, along with his ethics and understanding of this type of community.

Morgan said they conducted a nationwide search for the position and Waugh came out on top.

"There was a clear message of professionalism, understanding that this department is an outstanding department as it sits today and coming in with some different ideas but being willing to be patient and be part of the existing team and understand the culture of this community is first and foremost,” said Morgan.

Bryan Waugh is originally from West Virginia. He served in the U-S Air Force and afterwards was hired at the La Vista Police Department.

Waugh said he believes everything happens for a reason and it has always been a goal of his to become a police chief, but he knew that would not happen any time soon in La Vista.

"…And that goal took me to Kearney and I’ll be honest with you, I’ve been to Kearney a lot over the years and I’ve always been impressed with the area. I think it's a strong city and a great economy,” said Waugh.

Waugh went on to say how impressive KPD has always been to him. He said he has ideas for the future but for now he believes having a new police chief can be change enough.

Waugh said he plans on observing, learning and listening. He said he wants to speak with every member of the department and see what goals they have.

"...And any ideas they would have if they were sitting in my seat, things they would like to see with the Kearney police department and just establish those relationships, I think that's huge and I’m going to take the time to really learn the culture of the Kearney police department,” said Waugh.

Bryan Waugh said he hopes to build a strong relationship with the Kearney community and surrounding towns. He said he wants to be a point of communication for folks in the tri-cities.

Bryan Waugh begins his new position in January. Until then, captain Mike Kirkwood will continue working as the interim police chief.

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