AUSTIN, Minn. - On Tuesday night, Austin City Council approved Mayor Tom Stiehm's recommendation to appoint Cpt. Dave McKichan as the next Chief of Police, replacing current Chief Brian Krueger, who is retiring next month.
"Sad to see him go because I have enjoyed working with him so much but it's also exciting to be able to take the lead for our agency," says McKichan. He began working with the Austin Police Department in 1997, the last 8 years in his current position, which is second in command at the department.
As McKichan is his next in command, Chief Krueger says he's become very trustworthy of McKichan to be in charge of Austin P.D. when he was away.
"Very deserving. He's very well respected within our department as well as the community so I couldn't be happier with the decision and the City of Austin as they're getting a great new chief of police," he adds.
When he steps into the Chief position, Captain McKichan plans to continue to build upon the work Chief Krueger began, as he thinks they have similar beliefs on how to best keep the City of Austin safe, such as "Taking your time to research things thoroughly before you take action or before you move. We share a similar philosophy on how to even if you take some criminal action, we want to treat people fairly, treat them with respect."
As for what's next for Krueger-- he'd like to spend more time with his grandchildren. "It's bittersweet. I really enjoy my job but obviously it comes to a point where a 35 year career in law enforcement I think is a good career. I never imagined the day I started that I would be ending as chief."
McKichan will officially become chief February 21st, the day after Krueger's retirement. However, Krueger says there will be an adjustment period beginning earlier that month where he will balance both roles as chief and captain. He adds that there is some hiring that needs to be done within the department as well.