Former Kalamazoo police chief was ousted

Kalamazoo and Battle Creek

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — The former Kalamazoo Department of Public chief who left her job earlier this year was fired.

Kalamazoo Deputy City Manager Jeff Chamberlain confirmed to News 8 on Tuesday that former Chief Karianne Thomas’s contract was terminated without cause. He also said she will receive a year of her final annual salary of $150,000 as severance pay. 

City officials announced Sept. 16 that Thomas would “step down” at the end of the month, noting she was “eligible for full retirement” after 27 years with KDPS. The release, however, did not state outright that she was resigning. It also included a statement from Thomas in which she congratulated her successor, Chief Vernon Coakley.

Under Thomas, KDPS had faced public criticism for the way it handled racial inequity protests in late May, downtown vandalism in early June and a Proud Boys rally in August. The city recently hired an outside firm to conduct an independent review of KDPS’ response and its policies.

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