Archive for Tuesday, November 10, 1992


November 10, 1992


— The acting chief of Tonganoxie's police department is no longer acting. The Tonganoxie City Council named Larry Burns to the top job at Monday's meeting.

Larry Smith, who served as chief for more than 17 years, stepped down in September to manage the town's new bowling alley. After undergoing two surgeries to repair the rotator cuffs in his shoulders, Smith felt he couldn't adequately protect himself in a physical confrontation.

The council selected Burns from six applicants for the job, said Mike Vestal, council member.

"He seemed to be the most qualified," Vestal said. "We were familiar with the way he worked and his personality. He seemed best suited for a small-town department as chief."

Burns grew up in southern Missouri. He earned a bachelor's degree in administration of justice at Wichita State University, and plans to start working on a master's degree soon.

He was a patrolman in Tonganoxie from 1975 to 1983, when he was hired as chief of the Madison Police Department, a position he held until 1989.

Burns, 41, said he took a two-year hiatus from law enforcement before returning to Tonganoxie's force as a patrolman last October. He was named acting chief on Sept. 15.

The Tonganoxie Police Department can expect to operate as usual under its new chief, Burns said.

"I don't really foresee any changes," he said. "Things are going along really good. We'll try to upgrade and keep everything at a high level of professionalism like we've had."

In January, he plans to fill the patrolman position he vacated.

Burns and his wife, Dolores, have two children, Jason, 16, and Stacy, 10.

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