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UPDATED: Houston Names Interim Police Chief
Updated July 29, 2013, 6:00 p.m.
Springfield Mayor Mike Houston made the announcement at an afternoon press conference on Monday. He named Commander Kenny Winslow as the new Acting Chief.
Winslow is an 18-year veteran of the Springfield Police Department, and according to Houston, had nothing to do with the shredding of Internal Affairs documents.
"I think it really is important, at this point, that we have someone, so that there's absolutely no questions with regards to the shredding," Houston said.
Houston was also questioned as to why current Chief Williams won't be retiring until October 22.
"Chief Williams has accumulated time, so that he can use his vacation time between now and October 22," Houston said.
That date would allow Williams to receive a 5 percent bump in pay, which would count toward his pension.
We asked Houston if Williams deserved that bump.
"He should be treated as we would treat any other member of the police department," Houston said.
Some questioned whether Williams should even be allowed to retire.
"I don't think the chief's motives were anything other than the best interest of the department," Houston said. "That's not to say that the actions taken were the proper actions."
And as for the mayor's position on those actions?
"Well first of all, as we take a look at the shredding incident, that was a mistake," Houston said. "There was no question that that was a mistake."
Houston also gave his vote of confidence that Winslow can bring together possible factions inside the police department.
"I think we have a wonderful department," Winslow said. "It's gonna take some time to assess the situation, and look at everything as a whole, but I think we have the people and the skills necessary to bring this department together."
We asked Houston whether he was glad that the information regarding the shredding came to light, he said it would have been better if none of this had happened.
As for Winslow's pay, Houston tells us there will be an adjustment, but that it hasn't been negotiated yet.
Reporting in Springfield, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.