A deputy Omaha police chief is taking his 30 years of law enforcement experience to the Eppley Airfield police force.
Deputy Chief Ken Kanger will leave the Omaha Police Department at the end of the month to become the deputy chief of the Eppley Airfield Police Department.
Kanger oversees the Omaha Police Department’s criminal investigations bureau, which involves all the detective units including homicide, gang, narcotics and special victims squads.
He quickly rose through the ranks at the Police Department, getting promoted to lieutenant in 2010, captain in 2017 and deputy chief in 2018.
Kanger, 51, has spent nearly 25 years with the department. Before that, he worked for about five years in the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“It was probably the right time for me with almost 30 years in complete law enforcement service to open the door for new talent in the Omaha Police Department and taken on new challenges,” Kanger told The World-Herald. “I’ve had the opportunity to develop relationships with the community and see the things this city has been able to accomplish. It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Omaha.”
The majority of the top leadership at the Omaha Police Department is nearing retirement. Police Chief Todd Schmaderer and three of the remaining four deputy chiefs are part of the Deferred Retirement Option Program, known as DROP. That city program, which is for Omaha Police and Fire Department employees with 25 years on the job, freezes pension benefits. When they leave within the required five years of joining the program, the employees get a lump sum of what was accrued during the DROP time.
In March, Schmaderer announced his intention to retire within the next five years. He joined the DROP program when he became eligible for retirement in February.
Deputy Chiefs Michele Bang, Greg Gonzalez and Scott Gray are a part of the DROP program. Kanger was not in the DROP program but will receive maximum retirement benefits because of a city policy that allows employees who are close to receiving full retirement benefits to use sick and paid leave toward their total years of service.
Deputy Chief Anna Colón is not a part of the DROP program.