Questions remain after Spring Hill leaders terminate police chief's contract

Posted at 4:16 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 18:33:16-04

SPRING HILL, Kan. — Days after city leaders terminated Police Chief Richard Mann’s contract, residents continued to wonder what led to the decision.

Last Thursday, Mayor Steven Ellis and City Council made the decision to fire Mann during a special meeting.

Mann had served as police chief after being appointed to the position in 2011.

The move came weeks after city leaders put Mann on administrative leave.

In both instances, city leaders declined to offer a reason for the decision.

On Monday, a spokesperson for the city described the firing only as a “personnel matter.”

Due to the vague reasoning surrounding the surprising announcement, residents said rumors had been spreading around town.

“We’re just all making up things because we don’t know the reason, which is very unusual,” explained resident Debbie Overfield. “We all talk back and forth. We all just don’t know how come or why.”

Several neighbors who spoke to 41 Action News described Mann positively and said he would often speak with residents about their concerns. 

“[Mann] did his job really well. He was always above and beyond in the scene with all of his people,” explained Sarah Huffman, who has lived in Spring Hill for more than 10 years and works in the area. “You’d see him around town a lot. He was really friendly with the community and really involved with anything going on.”

Mann’s sudden firing continued to raise questions for the around 6,000 residents. 

“It didn’t make any sense with how they just scooted him out the door so fast,” Huffman explained. “It was really odd.”

On Monday, 41 Action News stopped by Mann’s home for comment but was told he was not there at the time.

Following the decision to terminate Mann’s contract, the city has appointed an acting police chief.