Great Bend Police Department Lt. David Bailey has been named interim Chief for the GBPD, effective Monday, Mayor Mike Allison and Interim City Administrator George Kolb announced Friday afternoon. The City Council’s official confirmation of the appointment will take place at its Dec. 18 meeting.
“I am honored and eager to be chosen as Great Bend police chief,” Bailey said. “I look forward to utilizing my years of education and experience to help better unify and progress our department.”
The department has gone through good and bad times together, he said. “We have great talent and I know that together we can help make Great Bend a better place.”
Bailey has been with the department for almost 40 years in different capacities. “He has done an exemplary job in leading the Detective Division as senior lieutenant. His knowledge, experience and professionalism will help him lead the department successfully,” Kolb said.
The selection committee interviewed eight candidates. “All of the candidates did an excellent job in presenting their qualifications,” Kolb said, but after long deliberations, the committee recommended Bailey to the mayor.
The selection committee included Allison, council members Vicki Berryman and Joel Jackson, City Attorney Bob Suelter, Community Coordinator Christina Hayes, City Clerk Shawna Schafer, Public Lands Director Scott Keeler and Public Works Director Charlie Suchy. The committee decided to look within the department first before looking beyond.
The chief of police post had been vacant since Sept. 14 when Clifton Couch resigned. The resignation followed months of turmoil.
This matter dated back to June. There had been several City Council executive sessions and special meetings that has sparked frustration from many who believed Couch has been wronged by the city.
It has also spawned a movement from Couch supporters to install blue and white pro-Couch signs in their yards.
In addition, the controversy caused the retirement of City Administrator Howard Partington and the resignation of Ward 2 Councilman Wayne Henneke, both citing belligerent comments directed at them and their families.