City of Kearney, MO

Chief Tom O’Leary Retires After Thirty Years of Dedicated Service

The City of Kearney announces the retirement of Police Chief Tom O’Leary after a thirty-year career.

Chief O’Leary has been a respected leader, whose entire career was dedicated to protecting and serving the Kearney community. His career began in 1993, when he was sworn in as a part time Police Officer, becoming a full-time employee in 1994.  He was promoted through the ranks of Corporal, Sergeant, Lieutenant, Captain and in January 2022, he was appointed the City of Kearney’s fourth appointed Police Chief. 

For much of his career, Chief O’Leary supervised the Kearney Police Department Investigations Unit.  He was a member of the Kansas City Metro Squad and the Clay County Investigative Squad.  Chief O’Leary was the lead investigator on multiple crimes, including various homicides.  He was involved in solving some of the city of Kearney’s most infamous crimes such as the Gregory May homicide and the Richardson serial killer investigation in which the suspect was apprehended and charged with multiple homicides. 

Over the course of Chief O’Leary’s dedicated thirty-year career, he was well respected and admired by the officers of the Kearney Police Department who he affectionately referred to as “my guys”.  Chief O’Leary helped contribute to Kearney being listed in the top twenty safest cities to live in Missouri for several years.

Mayor Randy Pogue stated, “We congratulate Chief O’Leary on his long and honorable career and wish him the best in his retirement.  I’m grateful for his service to the citizens of Kearney.”

Mark Thomas will serve as Kearney’s interim police chief while the City begins the search for a permanent chief.  Thomas has lived and worked in Kearney since 1990 and has forty-two years of law enforcement experience.