Mission police officer Ben Hadley will be Mission’s new chief of police. Hadley was appointed by Mayor Steve Schowengerdt and the recommendation received a unanimous vote of approval from the city council Wednesday night.
The appointment came after 40 minutes of executive session during which the mayor and council reportedly discussed the choice for chief. The appointment crosses the lines of the election of a new mayor and council. The resignation of former chief John Simmons came last December.
A committee was appointed under former Mayor Laura McConwell’s tenure to review applications and came up with its recommendation before the April election. However, selection of the new chief was delayed until the new mayor and council members were elected. In addition, the council is considering changing the selection process to make it a recommendation of the city administrator with approval by the council in the future.
The executive session was called to review the applicants for the job again. Joining the council members in the closed-door meeting were city administrator Gerry Vernon, assistant administrator Laura Smith, and Ellen Hanson, interim chief of the Kansas City, Kansas department. Hanson is the retired chief of the Lenexa Police Department and had served on the selection committee. The committee’s recommendation was not binding on the mayor.
Councilor Dave Shepard, who was a member of the committee and Schowengerdt’s mayoral opponent, made the motion to approve the appointment.
At the time of the decision, Hadley was attending a training academy and had to be notified of the action by phone. He has served in the Mission Police Department for a number of years. Capt. David Moloy has been serving as interim chief since Simmons left. Hadley has been a Mission police officer since 1997 after serving two years as a Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputy. He earned several promotions in Mission and was made a captain in 2005. He has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from Park University.
“The interview panel was very impressed with the quality of the four candidates that vied for the Police Chief’s position. Captain Hadley rose to the top of the list through his team oriented leadership style, his vision for the department, and the vital role that the department will play in the Mission community,” read a statement from the city.