Platte City mayor Frank Offutt took his spot on the podium to talk about the town’s newest police chief.
After Offutt rattled off the accomplishments of Joe Wellington in his career of law enforcement, the man chosen from a field of nearly 150 applicants spoke during a press conference.
“I think that about wraps it up,” Wellington said with a laugh during the Monday, March 4 event at Platte City City Hall.
Wellington has spent the past 14 years as the police chief in Gower, Mo., in Clinton County. Prior to that, he had a 25-year career with the Kansas City (Mo.) Police Department.
“I’m excited about the opportunity and the challenge that will come with this,” said the graduate from MCC-Longview. “I know I am walking into a good place and a good police department. This is the only job I have applied for in my time in Gower. The allure of this job, I’m excited about it. I think it will be a lot of fun and a lot of work and I wish it was the 18th already, I’m ready to get going.”
He will remain in Gower through Friday, March 15 and then will start in Platte City on March 18.
Wellington replaced Carl Mitchell, who officially retired on Feb. 28. Mitchell served nine years for the city.
Interim police chief Lynda Hacker-Bristow, also one of the finalists, will remain with the department through April 1 to assist with Wellington’s transition into the job. She will then return to the duties at the Platte County Sheriff’s Department.
“Any one of the final candidates would have been an excellent choice,” Offutt said. “The fact that this was a very difficult and a very close decisions says good things about the selection process and says even more about Chief Wellington’s very impressive qualities. I’m confident that Joe’s combination of knowledge, experience and energy will take the department to the next level.”
Wellington is on the FBI-LEEDA executive board and served eight years a member of Region H Homeland Security Oversight Committee.
While working for KCPD, he went served as an officer, sergeant with patrol, SWAT, drug enforcement, homicide, undercover, robbery and street narcotics.
He plans to spend his first few months getting to know his officers and said you can expected to see him in patrol cars in the near future.
“I’m walking into a pretty good place,” Wellington said. “I have a good feeling about the police department and the community.”