Cheyenne Police Chief Calls Firing Decision a ‘Pretty Dumb Move’
Calling it a "pretty dumb move," Cheyenne Police Chief Brian Kozak told KGAB Radio Friday that he still doesn't really know why Mayor-elect Patrick Collins made the decision to fire him when he takes office on Jan. 4.
"I was worried because I had heard the chairman from CFD saying that would happen, but then I thought, how could somebody not think that one out," said Kozak. "I just couldn't believe it until it happened."
Kozak says when he confronted Collins about it, "He wouldn't tell me other than it was a new direction based on community groups and he didn't want to tell me which group other than one was Cheyenne Frontier Days."
Kozak says he didn't speak with Collins about Fire Chief Greg Hoggatt being fired as well, but he says the fact that he and Hoggatt "were standing shoulder-to-shoulder on saying there had to be improvements with safety and security" at the CFD night shows could be why Collins isn't reappointing them.
"We both authored that report recommending public safety upgrades for the concerts based on best practices across the country," said Kozak. "But they did not want to split (the costs) at all. They said it was the city's responsibility 100 percent."
"When (Mayor Orr) decided to stand her ground and not issue the liquor license unless they agreed to pay half, they did not like that," he added.
Kozak says Collins "didn't say anything new" when he met with police leadership yesterday morning, but the "panic" Collins' announcement caused has started to "calm down a little bit."
"They see some of the council members trying to, I guess, come to a resolution as far as telling Collins it needs to stay internal because everyone likes the direction of the PD, so why mess with it," said Kozak. "That's what the survey (below) shows."
Kozak says Captain Nate Buseck will most likely be the interim chief, a choice he supports 100 percent, but he won't be sticking around after Jan. 4, even if Collins has a change of heart.
"I thought I would stay to help out, but I think I'm done," said Kozak. "I've got to be able to have trust with the people I work with ... that's not there anymore."