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Yates named new Ellis chief of police





ELLIS -- The city of Ellis has hired a fire chief, a city clerk and now a police chief since the summer.

"It's been kind of a stressful time," Mayor Dave McDaniel said. "I think now we've got good people in the positions -- I know we've got good people in the positions -- and Ellis is moving forward."

The Ellis City Council voted 5-1 Monday to approve the hiring committee's recommendation to name part-time Ellis police officer Taft Yates the new police chief. Yates replaces Randy Taylor, who announced his resignation in July to become chief of police in Clarkdale, Ariz.

Yates' starting salary is approximately $19 per hour, McDaniel said. Yates is living in Hays but is looking to buy a home in Ellis, McDaniel said.

"The eight members of the hiring committee recommended this gentleman for the position, and I am glad the council affirmed that," said McDaniel, who was on the committee. "We're moving forward."

Yates, 59, spent 20 years in the Army, 19 with the Rangers.

One of four finalists for the position, he was ready for a career change. Yates has five children and six grandchildren.

"There comes a time you know you got to choose exactly what you're going to finish off in," Yates said. "Time to stay home, enjoy the grandkids and the wife, but continue serving."

According to his biography on the police department's website, Yates was employed from 2002 to 2005 by both the Kansas Department of Corrections in Ellsworth and also by the Hays Police Department. Starting in 2005, he has been employed by Military Professional Resources as a trainer. His employment with the Ellis Police Department started in November 2008.

"He has 20 years experience in the military, which means he's very organized, and he was a trainer of troops," McDaniel said. "He will be very good training and mentoring his officers."

The Ellis Police Department, when fully staffed, consists of five full-time officers, including the chief, and one part-time officer.

"Yeah, there will be an adjustment, but I've been working with the department for the past four years, so I do have a pretty good view of how things are here," Yates said. "The way I look at it, no matter where you're at, what you're doing, you're going to learn something new every day. And I look forward to it."