KEARNEY — Kearney Police Sgt. Gabe Kowalek has been promoted to one of the department’s four lieutenant positions.
Kowalek, a 19½-year veteran of the Kearney Police Department, will serve as the commander of the criminal investigations bureau and special services unit. The position is new position where Kowalek will be responsible for administrative and operational functions of both units comprised of two sergeants, seven investigators, two K-9 officers, three school resource officers, one airport police officer, four community services officers and the victim/witness advocate.
“With the growth of any organization, the need to insert levels of command and leadership often arise. The addition of a lieutenant in the Criminal Investigations Bureau and Special Services Unit will provide an opportunity for the sergeants to focus on direct supervision within each unit, while the lieutenant will focus on administrative and operational duties, maintaining strong relationships with our allied agency partners, schools, advocacy groups, community policing, and staffing,” said Bryan Waugh, KPD Chief. “I’m certain Lt. Kowalek will be an asset to our Kearney Police command staff team and I look forward to working closely with him and our entire staff as KPD continues to grow with our community.”
Kowalek will be officially sworn in as lieutenant Tuesday during the Kearney City Council meeting at City Hall. He joins Lt. Jason Koetters, Lt. Dennis Byrne and Lt. Kevin Thompson.
Kowalek has served in various capacities in uniform patrol and patrol sergeant, narcotics investigator, CANDO/Safe Streets Task Force investigator, field training officer and special services unit sergeant. He is a graduate of Auburn High School, the University of Nebraska at Kearney and Northwestern School of Police Staff and Command.