Archive for Thursday, August 30, 2012

Eudora police chief resigns

August 30, 2012


Eudora Police Chief Grady Walker resigned Thursday, said John Harrenstein, Eudora city administrator.

Walker’s resignation is effective Sept. 7, though Harrenstein said Walker has been out of the office on medical leave. Eudora Police Sgt. Chris Casagrande has been named acting police chief until an interim chief is named, Harrenstein said.

“We look to begin the search process very soon,” Harrenstein said.

Because it was a personnel matter, Harrenstein said he could not comment further on Walker’s resignation. Attempts to reach Walker on Thursday were unsuccessful.

Walker was named police chief in April 2010, after 32 years in law enforcement. Walker worked for the Douglas County Sheriff’s office and jail right out of high school, and after 10 years joined Douglas County Youth Services, where he served as assistant director for 12 years.

In 2007, Walker returned to the streets, working full time for the Eudora Police Department.


thebigspoon 5 years, 8 months ago

Looks like small town politics got another one ? If you're not from that small town like the Mayor is I guess it is hard to survive ???

princess81 5 years, 8 months ago

Just a shame it wasn't the Mayor instead. Eudora would do better without one, especially the one we are stuck with now.

the_overnighter 5 years, 8 months ago

Top bad it did not work out as Chief Walker worked hard to make things better. Good luck sir!!

somebodynew 5 years, 8 months ago

Wrong Casagrande Smitty. But don't let that stop you from stirring things up.

rumor_man 5 years, 8 months ago

Why does Eudora even need a police chief? It's not like it's Topeka or anything.

Ricky_Vaughn 5 years, 8 months ago

Isn't Grady the Police Chief in Super Troopers?

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

I recently stepped down as Eudora Chamber President over concerns about personnel management within the Eudora Police Department. I suggested to the City Administrator at that time that Walker didn't have the skill set for some parts of the job. I know from talking to others in the Eudora community that Harrenstein has had his own reservations. Walker does have some very strong skills, however. Those certainly could have been utilized.

I am a professor. In schools, we issue A's through F's. We provide support and training. We don't expect perfection and we work with what we've got. In Eudora, not only is there no system of support and training, it's an all A or F system. There is nothing in between. You are either in -- or you are out. It is as tragic in the case of Walker as it was for the many other police officers before him who have been terminated or felt forced to resign. Sadly, it appears the City learned nothing through this exercise. They have now put a guy in charge for the interim who is cut from the same, exact cloth as Walker. He has no sense of loyalty to his staff and no notion of the responsibilities of police work. He is just as willing to throw others under the bus on his way up. What is Einstein's definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

Eudora is a great little town with some great folks. Some of those are on the City Council. I don't count them out, altogether yet. Princess81 denigrated the Mayor. I disagree. That guy has some real heart -- and he's the reason those safety barricades are being erected on K-10, as I write.

Bassetlover 5 years, 8 months ago

Wow Susie, someone in your position probably shouldn't have made these comments in a forum such as this. Sheesh.

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

The beauty of living in a democracy is that folks can air concerns publicly. In my case, if I am not willing to put my name to a comment, I don't share it. I am a business professor and business owner and a 30 year resident of Douglas County. My family has owned land south of Eudora since the 1880's. I have worked in Eudora and worked on behalf of Eudora. The community is important to me. What is happening there is a tragedy and unfortunately it sometimes takes someone with the courage to speak up to affect change. Do I like being in this position? No. I shared my concerns with the City Administrator two months ago and, more recently, with the City Council. I know it's more fun to read posts from anonymous folks who make frivolous allegations of corruption or -- anonymously -- question the motives of other contributors to the forum but sometimes ya just gotta be frank. If you look at the full sum of what I have written, you will see that I have been very favorably impressed by the City leadership. I have been equally discouraged by a handful individuals who have sat on their hands while good people have left their jobs or been driven from them. It has been a long, frustrating summer which culminated in Chief Walker's resignation. It is terribly sad and should have been prevented.

princess81 5 years, 8 months ago

Oh please....the Mayor is responsible for that? Let's talk about who really is responsible for that, the family of that little boy. He is not the reason, not by a long shot.

Amy Heeter 5 years, 8 months ago

One word, corruption. I could detail some facts, but the post would be deleted. Rest assured some crooked officers are gone.

brujablanco 5 years, 8 months ago

Well then, artie, put your real name out there followed by your "facts". Susie did, can you own your words?

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

I don't know anything about what that little boy's family did or did not do. I can't imagine their grief. That does not, however, diminish what Mayor Hopson did. He formally requested those barriers. He actually tried to drum up support from the City of DeSoto and they declined to get involved. Mayor Hopson persisted. For this reason, he has my admiration. People are often too busy, too reluctant, or too scared to raise their voice. Hopson did so. You and I and others are safer because of it.

kimk 5 years, 8 months ago

Why don't you ask the Fire Chief why Grady is resigning? Just because you're the fire chief does not make you an auxillary police officer. Grady should not abuse his power to do a favor for a friend.

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

kimk, thank you for filling in a missing piece to this puzzle for me! I had also suggested to the City Administrator that something didn't smell right concerning a fireman's role in an altogether different police personnel matter. After I resigned, our Chamber membership started getting these emails from the City in the guise of Chamber communications sort of lauding the police chief and the fire chief and that seemed so ODD . . . . Why, all of a sudden, was the Chamber email a promotions piece for these two individuals? I GET that the City favors the new law enforcement center, but the inclusion of the two Chiefs' contact information on a couple of emails made me uneasy. It seemed a bit too cozy. I had warned the Chamber Executive Board against allowing the Chamber to get too embedded in the City, and I was vigorously rebuffed. It all begins to hang together . . . .

koman 5 years, 8 months ago

Speaking from a business owner's perspective in Eudora, Susie's tenure as Chamber of Commerce President was a failure at best. The only economic development progress made during her time as President were a result of staff hired by the City Administrator and the Chamber of Commerce executive board, which Susie totally alienated to pursue her own personal noteriety. I can only imagine her opinion and her false comments are the result of her ex-husband being terminated from employment. It's sad to see such spiteful people associated with our community and I for one am glad she is gone. Anyone that knows her understands her leadership qualities are sporadic at best. As an individual who knows the members of the Eudora Police Department, I am confident each of their abilities to handle this transition process. Calling into question the character of those who have been assigned to lead during a transition is simply a pot-shot from someone who doesn't know what she is talking about.

I believe our city has fine leadership from a city council perspective and the professional staff they have hired. The indication that their actions are "insane" comes from someone who doesn't have a clue about the issues.

costello 5 years, 8 months ago

"It's sad to see such spiteful people associated with our community and I for one am glad she is gone."

It sounds like you don't like her much. At least she put her name to her critique. There's nothing more spiteful than an anonymous public attack. At least the people she criticized know who she is.

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

costello, thank you for your note of support! My reply below is actually directed to koman's comments above.

Susie Pryor 5 years, 8 months ago

You are either incredibly blinded by your dislike of me or woefully ill-informed. You exhibit little understanding of my character, Chamber contributions, relationships with other members, or the nature of leadership. You are dead wrong about the economic development position. The Board played no role in its creation or in the hiring process. If I knew who you were, I would probably understand why my performance as a volunteer Chamber president matters so very much to you. I find your entire vitriolic assessment bizarre, not germane, and weirdly personal. I suspect you are a member of this small cabal that has made the lives of many in Eudora miserable and determinedly mistakes enthusiasm and energy for attention-seeking behavior.

If you are as well-connected as you say, you know exactly why I chose not to share my concerns about my ex-husband's termination. I have heretofore been very vocal about the issue. It is my greater understanding of the seriousness of the situation and the implications for others which caused me to steer clear – not some character flaw, as you have chosen to suggest. If you have read my comments, you know that I,too, believe strongly in Eudora's City Council and you should have some sense of how very, very well-informed I am on this matter.

princess81 5 years, 8 months ago

Well said koman. You aren't the only one with that opinion!

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