Westwood will be among the northeast Johnson County communities welcoming a new police chief in 2014.
Westwood Police Chief Carlos (Corkey) Wells is retiring Dec. 31 after 37 years in Westwood. Wells came to the department in 1976 and has been police chief since 1987. Before coming to Westwood, Wells had served in the U.S. Navy and then began a police career with the Dodge City department. He also served with the Olathe Police Department before coming to Westwood.
Greg O’Halloran will take over for Wells in January. O’Halloran retired earlier this year as a major from the Olathe Police Department where he had served since January 1982. He rose through the ranks from patrol officer to detective sergeant, patrol sergeant, public information officer, lieutenant, captain and major. His assignments included tactical support, training, community outreach and human resources. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville.
“I knew I wasn’t done,” O’Halloran said of his short retirement. “I left enthusiastic about law enforcement and enjoyed the people I worked with.” O’Halloran said he had been looking for a place to go next in law enforcement.
Of Westwood, O’Halloran said he “loves the feel of the city.” It has “the feel of smaller hometown cities, but is progressive in the right ways,” he said. “The people (I’ve met) all seem very community-oriented.”
“The Police Department exists to serve and protect the community,” O’Halloran said. “However, if we are to be successful in that mission we must get to know, interact and work alongside the citizens of Westwood to prevent, reduce and solve crime with the ultimate goal of providing the safest community we can.” Westwood also provides public safety services to Mission Woods and Westwood Hills.
O’Halloran is a graduate of SM South and has a degree in business administration and management from Benedictine College. He and his wife, Cherie, have been married for more than 25 years.