Police Chief Brian Kozak Offers Final Thoughts On Cheyenne Term
Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak said Thursday that he thinks a city manager or changes in how the Cheyenne police chief is appointed are needed to remove politics from such decisions.
Kozak, in a video posted to the Cheyenne Police Department Facebook Page, refrained from directly discussing the decision of Cheyenne Mayor-Elect Patrick Collins not to retain him after almost 11 years heading the CPD. "I've always tried to stay out of politics," Kozak said, adding "I'm going to do that with this situation as well.
But he did note that he was the longest-serving police chief in Cheyenne history. He said of the typical short tenure of police chiefs "Usually it's because of politics. ''Usually, a police chief will be thrown into a political situation, and almost always, a police chief will choose the ethical way of doing things.,"
Kozak said. He added that often leads to a political decision to remove the chief. Kozak said there are two possible solutions to prevent that from happening in the future. One would be a city manager form of government, which he said would tend to remove politics from decisions about police chief appointments. He said the other option would be to place the appointment of the police chief in the hands of the city council, rather than the mayor.
Kozak in his message also said that he supports Cheyenne Frontier Days, although he added that he thinks CFD needs to "refocus their mission so that it is one that supports the community and promotes safety." Kozak and outgoing Mayor Marian Orr had a disagreement over funding for extra police officers at CFD last year.
The two sides were able to reach an agreement, but Frontier Days ended up being canceled for the first time in its history due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kozak will formally relinquish command of the CPD at a ceremony scheduled for noon on Monday at the Cheyenne Public Safety Building.