Williams Police Chief, others placed on administrative leave

The Williams Police Department is down three of its staff while the city conducts an investigation. 

Police Chief Ed Anderson, Sgt. Steve Woldanski, and Police Services Manager Eileen Niblack were placed on administrative leave last week pending the outcome, City Administer Frank Kennedy confirmed Monday. 

While Kennedy would not comment on the nature of the investigation, citing personnel confidentiality, he assures the public that all police shifts will be covered. 

“People can rest assured they are safe and secure,” Kennedy said. 

Sgt. Chris Miller is currently the officer in charge of day-to-day operations.

Miller, a law enforcement officer since 2005, has been with the Williams Police Department since 2016. 

Kennedy would not estimate the time for the matter to be resolved. 

“I don’t have definite answers,” he said. 

Although certain groups throughout the state have recently called for lifting certain protections for police officers, following the controversial shooting death of Stephon Clark, in Sacramento last March, California is one of more than a dozen states that have a Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights – intended to protect law enforcement personnel from criminal and administrative investigation and prosecution arising from conduct during official performance of their duties. 

With the bill of rights, officers have the right to know they are under investigation. There are also set time limits on disciplinary actions. 

The bill of rights, which exists to make sure administrative investigations on officers are done fairly, also allows for administrative appeals. ■