WINONA (KYTX) – The newly elected Winona City Mayor, and the City Council have decided to close the Winona Police Department by the end of the month due to financial restraints.
Winona Police Chief Bryan M. Richards issued the following statement:
I would like to personally thank all the citizens that supported me and the officers of the Police Department.
I would like to give a special Thank You to the Officers that I employed since 2012.
Officer Johnny Vargas who is assigned as the School Resource Officer. Johnny I appreciate you so much for the hard work and dedication you have given in keeping the students and teachers safe. You are a perfect fit for that position and I am extremely proud of you.
Former employee Corporal Spencer Chambless who was without a doubt my right hand. Spencer there are not enough words to express how much I appreciate the countless hours of hard work dedication you gave. You are an outstanding Officer and I really appreciate the passion you have for Law Enforcement.
Former Employee Patrol Officer Jonathan Daille I truly appreciate the hard work, dedication and passion you gave in being a Winona Police Officer. I know without a doubt you will have a long productive career in Law Enforcement. You're an amazing Officer.
Former Patrol Officer Stuart Alexander words cannot say how much I appreciate the countless narcotics arrests you made and the illegal drugs you took off the streets. I really appreciate the countless hours you gave in helping keep Winona a safer place to live.
I am very excited to inform you that the Winona Independent School District has made the decision to establish its own Police Department that should begin this next school year. At this time it is planned for Officer Johnny Vargas to continue with the Winona School District as the Chief of Police.
I have been truly blessed in my 18 years of Law Enforcement. Although I am sad to see the City of Winona without a local Police Agency, this change has caused other doors of opportunity to open. I have to say we serve an amazing God and there is no doubt his plan is better than anything we could ever plan for ourselves.
Once again I truly appreciate each of you so much for all your support.
God Bless You!!