KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety chief is off the job after allegations of harassment were filed against him.

Kalamazoo Chief of Public Safety Vernon Coakley. (Courtesy KDPS)

A press release from the city of Kalamazoo announced that Chief Vernon Coakley was placed on administrative leave by City Manager James Ritsema on Tuesday. Kalamazoo took action based on allegations of harassment that were filed by city employees.

City Spokesperson Michael L. Smith held a news conference at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“When something like this takes place, there’s a process involved,” Smith said.

The city of Kalamazoo has hired an outside, independent investigator to look at the accusations, the release said.

Coakley will remain on administrative leave throughout the investigation and has been stripped of Public Safety authority and responsibilities. KDPS Deputy Chief David Boysen will serve as temporary chief until further notice, according to the release.

It is unclear how long the investigation may take. Once complete, the findings will be presented to the city manager. The city will decide what to do based on the results, a press release said.

“The City of Kalamazoo takes allegations of harassment very seriously and will fully investigate any claims as required by law and the City’s personnel policies,” read the release.

Smith echoed those sentiments at the news conference.