GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The top law enforcement official for the city of Lowell is on paid administrative leave and residents want to know why.
Lowell Police Chief Steve Bukala was put on leave on Monday, April 17.
City Manager Michael Burns says he made the decision to put Chief Bukala on leave as an investigation takes place.
"Credible information was provided to the city about a possible misconduct," Burns told WZZM 13 on Thursday. Burns would not say what the misconduct was exactly, but simply that it was an "internal personnel matter."
Bukala has been with the city of Lowell since 1995 and Chief since 2013. The City Manager does not believe the Chief has had any issues in the past.
"He's a nice guy, I've never had a problem with him," Cody, a Lowell resident said. Cody tells WZZM 13 Bukala was his DARE officer, years ago.
"It's a little upsetting you got to hear about it through people as opposed to being addressed," he said. "As a tax paying resident of this city, you should be addressed on what's going on and why you're being put on leave."
The City Manager does not believe anyone else in the department was involved in the potential misconduct. Michigan State Police did confirm they are investigating the matter.
But what some residents want to know is, what exactly are they investigating?
"I just think it's pretty shocking," resident, Christy Nead, said. "We live in a small town, you don't hear about stuff happening around here that often, so I just want to know that my kids and my family are safe and I hope they figure out what it is and get to the bottom of it."
"I think the more transparency we have, the better," Cody added. "They're taking care of their kids and protecting us."
Michigan State Police say once the report is complete it will be forwarded to the prosecutors officer for review. Bukala will remain on leave pending the results of the investigation.
In the meantime, Sergeant Chris Hurst will serve as acting chief.
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