Aurora Police Chief Richard Witthuhn announces retirement
Aurora Police Chief Richard Witthuhn informed Aurora City Manager of his intent to retire at the beginning of this week. His last day with the City of Aurora will be July 9th. This retirement closes out a long and distinguished law enforcement career dedicated to the safety, welfare and security of the public that spans 42 years. Chief Witthuhn served 21 years with the Wichita Police Department in Wichita, KS as a Police Officer and as an Investigator. This included rotations through Patrol, Traffic, Motorcycle Unit, Homicide Section, Narcotics Section, Special Robbery Team, Dignitary Protection, and an Instructor at the Wichita police Academy. After retirement from the Wichita Police Department, Chief Witthuhn served with the Sedgwick Kansas Police Department as an Assistant Police Chief, then was promoted, and served 5 years as Police Chief of Sedgwick. In 2006 Chief Witthuhn relocated to Missouri, filling the role of Chief of Police for the Reeds Springs Police Department, until relocating to serve the City of Aurora in October of 2010.
“The City of Aurora was fortunate to have such a seasoned professional with the wide array of experience and knowledge with Chief Witthuhn. He has led the department through some challenging times, and his efforts to improve the level of police services in the Aurora Community has been truly appreciated” City Manager Holmes said. “Rick has endeavored to leave the Department and the City better than when he found it, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his diligent efforts.” Holmes continued.
Mayor Jason Lewis thanked Chief Witthuhn for his efforts and added “42 years at any job is amazing; that’s 42 years of protecting the public, always being on call, dealing with some of the toughest situation imaginable, and working to ensure our Police Staff are doing the best job possible for the betterment of the community. Retirement for Chief Witthuhn has been more than earned and is certainly deserved.”
When asked about the process for appointing a new Chief, City Manager Holmes replied “We will begin advertising by the end of the week. Chief Witthuhn was kind enough to give me advanced notice of his 2 intent and I have worked with the City Council to develop a recruitment process. We will be advertising internally and externally. Our hope is that we get several qualified applicants; this is an vitally important position within the community, and we want to find the best person possible to fill this important role.”
While the candidate search is ongoing, Holmes stated that he will be working with the Aurora Police Command Staff regarding continuing operations and naming an interim Chief to assume responsibility of the Department until a replacement is found. Advertising for this position will include the Missouri Municipal League website, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association website, area newspapers, the City of Aurora website, as well as other on-line postings.