nother retirement from a longtime member of the Platte City Police Department.
The City of Platte City and Detective Lieutenant Al DeValkenaere have announced Lt DeValkaneare’s retirement after a career of over 35 years in local law enforcement including 10 years’ service as a detective sergeant and detective lieutenant with the Platte City Police Department.
Lt. DeValkenaere’s retirement is effective on Jan. 23.
Devalkenaere and former Chief Carl Mitchell were both placed on temporary reassignment last fall as an evaluation of the culture of the police department was conducted.
Mitchell later announced his retirement. He is collecting medical leave from the city through February, when his retirement becomes official.
Lynda Bristow is acting chief of the department, on loan from the Platte County Sheriff’s Department, where she was a deputy.
The hiring process for a new chief is underway, and the field has been narrowed to seven candidates. A new chief is expected to be announced in late February or March.
Devalkenaere’s retirement came after the board of aldermen voted recently to do away with the position of lieutenant/investigator.
“The reorganization eliminated the position of detective lieutenant in order to establish a standalone investigator position that will be a functional duty assignment rather than fixed rank position. This change allows the increased flexibility in assigning officers to the investigative function independent of rank,” said DJ Gehrt, city administrator.
Devalkenaere’s 10 years of service as Platte City’s investigative officer cap a distinguished law enforcement career which included over 25 years of service with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department (KCPD) and military service in the United States Air Force.
Devalkeneare’s investigate skills were recognized early in his Kansas City career resulting in over 21 years in various specialized investigative assignments. His specialized assignments included tours as a homicide detective, service with the Fugitive Unit/FBI violent crimes fugitive task force, special deputation as a US Marshall and extended tours as an investigator with the bomb/explosives and arson unit.
Devalkenaere held the rank of master detective at the time of his retirement from the KCPD in late 2008.
Devalkenaere was appointed as a detective sergeant with the Platte City Police Department in early 2009 before promotion to his current rank of lieutenant in 2011.
Gehrt said Devalkenaere is eligible to participate in the city’s reduction in force policy. Gehrt explained the reduction in force (RIF) policy establishes severance benefit for staff whose position is eliminated. In a standard retirement or resignation the employee does not recieve severance benefits. Employees whose position is eliminated are eligible for severance benefits.
Public safety staff, including Devalkenaere, are eligible for full LAGERs retirement benefits at age 55 but are not required to retire at that age. By selecting a retirement date that occurs in conjunction with action to reorganize the department and eliminate the detective lieutenant position, Devalkenaere is in the position where he is eligible for ongoing LAGERS retirement benefits and the shorter term RIF severance benefits.
Under city RIF policy, employees eligible for this benefit receive a lump sum payment equal to one week’s base pay for each year of city service as well as city payment of employee only medical insurance payment (COBRA) for one month for each year of employment.
Devalkenaere has 10 years of city service as of Jan. 5.
The total value of Devalkenaere’s severance benefit (combination of lump sum payment and medical premium payments) is approximately $21,000, Gehrt said.