Interim chief of Lawrence police to step down; captain to take over

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Interim Lawrence Police Chief Anthony Brixius will step down and Captain Adam Heffley will take over in his place, according to a news release from the city Friday afternoon.

The switch will be effective Sunday, according to the release.


Brixius will return to his role as a captain in the office of the chief, “which will allow me to meet some important family obligations,” he said in the release.

Heffley has been with LPD for 21 years and has served on the command team since 2013, the release said.

Heffley previously oversaw the investigations division and he was instrumental in the creation of LPD’s special victims unit, which the department officially rolled out in December 2020.

When the department in August 2020 restructured its command staff and added the rank of lieutenant between the sergeants and captains, Heffley moved into a special projects role for LPD. Part of his duties included preparing for the department to seek accreditation by CALEA, the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“City leadership, Captain Brixius and I are all committed to progress in the department through introspection, quality training, experience, and a thorough review of how we currently operate,” Heffley said in the release Friday. “Soon, that review will produce a blueprint which we, and the next permanent Chief, will use to create a new model of professional policing in Lawrence.”

Brixius will also play an integral role in the selection process for the next permanent chief, City Manager Craig Owens said in the release.

“I am certain that Adam Heffley will step into the interim position confidently and provide a seamless leadership transition for the department,” Owens said.

Brixius took over as interim chief after the resignation of former chief Gregory Burns Jr. in May 2020. He had also served as interim chief in between the retirement of former chief Tarik Khatib and Burns’ selection and subsequent swearing-in at LPD in October 2017.

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