Haymarket police chief parts ways with town over overtime costs, jeopardized grants

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.

Haymarket Police Chief Kevin Lands has agreed to part ways with the town after officials say he cost several thousands in overtime and jeopardized grant opportunities.

Mayor Ken Luersen provided a statement Wednesday night confirming the decision. The statement cites a section of Virginia code handling severance packages.

The Town Council accepted Lands’ resignation and agreed to provide the equivalent of three months of salary, or $25,000, toward his Virginia Retirement System Account.

The statement says that the council’s recent performance evaluation of the chief, which occurred in early March, brought forward questions about Lands working grant details with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles for extra pay. The statement says that work has suspended the town’s participation in DMV safety grants and jeopardized its eligibility for future grants.

The statement said Lands mishandled police officer scheduling, resulting in more than $8,000 in overtime premiums in the past two years on top of previously paid overtime. One agreement to provide security for a construction company was supposed to be revenue neutral to the town, but apparently cost the town about $10,000 in overtime costs.

The statement also says officer communications equipment has not been kept in operational status.

The council met in closed session in early March to discuss Lands’ performance. Afterward, the council voted 4-3, with Luersen casting the deciding vote, to “communicate to the Chief the performance evaluation and other actions as decided by Town Council.” At the time, Luersen and Town Manager Chris Coon declined to comment further on the situation.

“Former Chief of Police Kevin Lands was deeply appreciated by many here in the Town of Haymarket. He greatly expanded the Town’s social media presence and built community through events, outreach to businesses, and personal charm,” the statement says.

Luersen said no further information will be released by town officials.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner InsideNoVa.com and republished with permission. Sign up for InsideNoVa.com’s free email subscription today.


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