Police department suffers another blow? — Craig police chief asked to step down
The Craig Press learned Thursday that Craig Chief of Police Walt Vanatta was asked Thursday morning to accept a retirement package or be laid off, according to multiple sources within the community.
Craig City Manager Mike Foreman declined to comment until Friday, and Mayor John Ponikvar deferred to Foreman. Vanatta also declined to comment.
Vanatta has served as the department’s chief for nearly 20 years; he took up the post in 1998. The unexpected move comes on the heels of budget reductions that resulted in low morale among the police force and two other departures of longtime officers from the police department.
Councilwoman Andrea Camp said she was made aware of the conversation Thursday morning, but also deferred to Foreman for further details. Other councilmembers could not be reached or did not return the Craig Press’ calls.
The Craig Press will report further on this developing story as information is made available.