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Lincoln City Council approves Teresa Ewins for Police Chief

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 3:35 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2021 at 3:39 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Teresa Ewins was approved as the next Chief of Police for the City of Lincoln during Monday’s City Council meeting.

The Lincoln City Council held a public hearing on the resolution and the motion to approve Ewins was carried 7-0.

Ewins will take the top spot of the Lincoln Police Department by the end of August. At Monday’s hearing, she was ushered in by the four previous men to hold the position.

“It’s emotional because it shows their support of not only myself but also the men and women of the Lincoln Police Department and the mayor’s decision,” Ewins said.

Cdr. Ewins, with the San Francisco Police Department, was selected by Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird in late June, following a week of public forums that featured four finalists for the position. She has been with her previous department for 26 years, most recently as a commander overseeing about 900 officers.

“She stood out and I think it’s with great consensus that she is appropriate for this role and we do support her in this position,” said acting LPD Chief Brian Jackson.

Ewins comes in with the union backing as well.

Outside of city employees, only two other people testified. Jane Kinsey with Watchdogs of Lincoln said that she fears Ewins is a continuation of a liberal agenda being pushed onto Lincoln by Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baid.

“We don’t feel that candidates within the department who had been there for a long time were given a chance,” Kinsey said.

One lincoln man testified after Kinsey saying in part he hopes that Ewins does not think Lincoln is closed-minded about her appointment.

“I think this is a wonderful opportunity for our city, I think she will provide great leadership,” said Roy Helm.

Ewins reiterated Monday that her first goal is to create more transparency within LPD.

“It also has to do with policy, procedure, training,” Ewins said “That’s a lot to actually do in a short period of time but we’re going to prioritize it.”

Ewins will start August 30. She is Lincoln’s first openly gay and female police chief.

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