Former McKinney Chief of Police Doug Kowalski began his tenure as Interim Police Chief for the town of Prosper on Monday. Kowalski, who controversially resigned as McKinney Chief of Police in 2012, told TownSquareBuzz.com on Tuesday that his 15 months away from law enforcement has been “difficult” but that he felt the timing and location of the opportunity in Prosper was “right.”
Kowalski told TSB that he still lives in McKinney and loves the city, despite everything that happened when he left the McKinney Police Department. “I don’t want to talk about leaving the City of McKinney,” he said. “That was last year’s story.”
Kowalski was contacted by the town manager of Prosper when Prosper’s chief of police resigned. “I’ll be the interim chief for the next several months to assist them in finding a new chief,” Kowalski told TSB. “I’ll run the department, make some assessments and recommendations about the department. That’s what has been discussed with me, so that’s what I’m looking at.”
Kowalski said he doesn’t know if the position will become permanent. “That hasn’t been discussed with me at this time,” he said. “The discussion has only been about the interim position.”
“I don’t want to talk about leaving the City of McKinney. That was last year’s story.” – Former McKinney Chief of Police Doug Kowalski
Kowalski told TSB that in the 15 months since he left the McKinney Police Department, he obtained an Executive Master of Science in Justice Administration and Leadership from the University of Texas at Dallas. “I finished in December,” Kowalski said. “I was already enrolled when I left the city of McKinney, but I decided to dedicate my entire time and attention to the master’s program and become a full-time student again.”
Kowalski said there was definitely some “culture shock” that came from being back on a college campus. “Walking the halls and being called professor was interesting,” he said.
Kowalski said that his enjoyed his time as a student but the time away from working in law enforcement was tough. “It was a major change and adjustment,” he said. “I’ve spent my whole adult life in law enforcement.”
Now, Kowalski is excited about the opportunity he has in Prosper. “McKinney’s population was 54,000 when I started there,” he said. “Prosper is a little smaller than that right now, but they’re poised for a great growth spurt. I helped build the police department in McKinney and a lot of those same changes are happening in Prosper right now.”
Prosper’s proximity to McKinney was a significant factor in his decision to accept the position in Prosper. “I never considered leaving McKinney,” he said. “McKinney has been my home for the last 13 years. Moving to McKinney was a good move for me and I haven’t seen any reason to change that.”
Kowalski said he was contacted by “several other cities” to serve as interim police chief during the last 15 months, “but the timing and location weren’t right.”
He said the opportunity in Prosper was a perfect fit for him. “The entire city is going to face continuing growth and the city services will have to expand to meet that growth,” he said. “I’m excited to give them some insight that I gained in my time in McKinney.”
As for his future, Kowalski said that beyond his tenure as interim chief in Prosper, “the next step is yet to be determined.” He said that no matter what happens in Prosper, he plans to continue his work in criminal justice.
Kowalski also said he’s looking forward to working with the McKinney Police Department again, as Prosper shares a boundary with McKinney. “I admire all the men and women of the McKinney Police Department,” he said. “I look forward to working with them again in the future. I wish the City of McKinney and the city government the best as well. I wish them all the best.”