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Springfield Police Department Promotions and a Demotion

Updated: Thursday, June 19 2014, 03:37 PM CDT

There are four promotions and one demotion that few outside the Springfield Police Department saw coming. Former Deputy Chief Bob Markovic has been demoted. Chief Kenny Winslow won't tell us the reason behind the move, but this is just the latest chapter in the ongoing story about finding transparency within the department.

“Deputy Chief Markovic is a valued member of our department, and that's all I'm going to say about it,” Winslow said.

At a program ceremony Friday—Springfield Police Chief Kenny Winslow spoke at length about Lieutenant Stokes, Mounce, Scarlette, and Handlin. The four now make two Commanders and two Deputy Chiefs. The person he wasn’t as excited to talk about was Bob Markovic.

Q: Deputy Chief Markovic-- is he still a Deputy Chief?

Chief answers: Deputy Chief Markovic is not a deputy chief.

SM: What is his title now?

KW: Deputy Chief Markovic-- that's all I'm going to tell you right now. I'm not going to get into that right now Shantel.

Here's some background. In addition to being a Deputy Chief Markovic was president of the police union. He's the one who wrote the original draft of the agreement changing the current police union contract. It allowed for the immediate shredding of some police internal affairs files—most notably that detailing former Deputy Chief Cliff Buscher's 2008 arrest and conviction in Missouri. It spawned our special Ready, Set, Shred investigation, but the chief says it is not the reason Markovic was demoted.

“I think Chief Winslow's trying to take the department forward and move us away from what's happened in the past and this may be an attempt to do that,” Ward 1 Alderman Frank Edwards said.

We asked aldermen to weigh in on how this move impacts transparency within city government. “It's just to me inconsistent with transparency when a reporter has to tell an alderman what's going on in the city. It just doesn't make any sense,” Ward 2 Alderman Gail Simpson said.

None of the aldermen we spoke with had any prior knowledge of the demotion. Simpson says there was at one point hope things would change with Winslow as Chief. Edwards, on the other hand, says something like this should really come from Mayor Mike Houston’s office.

Springfield Police Department Promotions and a Demotion

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