City of McKinney officials are attempting to quell a firestorm brewing over the handling of the firing of the popular police chief. Community members have expressed concerns it was unprofessional to notify the former police chief via YouTube. However, the communications department has released a statement from the city manager explaining his decision.
Friday, Oct. 5 via a 45 second video on YouTube, City Manager Jason Gray announced former deputy city manager Joe Williams effective immediately was replacing Police Chief Doug Kowalski. According to Gray, Kowalski was informed prior to the video’s release and it was released as a means of informing all members of the staff at the same time with same consistent message. However, published reports indicate the police officers were surprised as they had no indication a change was under consideration.
In response to the events, community members have created a Facebook page entitled McKinney Says No to Jason Gray. The page was launched on Oct. 11 and currently has 184 likes (often referred as page fans). The About section describes the page as, “An online Petition to Inform City Council that Jason Gray must be let go for his actions.”
The City of McKinney has issued a press release, including a Q & A section at the end. The first question listed addresses the concerns regarding the video:
Did you fire Chief Kowalski via YouTube?
No. We discussed his reassignment in person. The YouTube video contained the same language that would have been contained in a memo. It was posted so that officers on all shifts could have the information at the same time with absolute consistency. It was sent out from me directly to employees in the department only after I had a personal conversation with Chief Kowalski.
To read the full statement, visit the City of McKinney’s website.