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Son follows dad to become police chief

When he was a child, Mike Williams sometimes would hang out at the police station and go on calls with his father.

He used to gaze at his father's police badge, dreaming that one day, he would become Hamburg police chief, just like his dad.

The dream came true for father and son Monday night when the Hamburg Town Board appointed Michael K. Williams chief.

"Many years I'd come home, and you looked at my badge," said former Hamburg Police Chief Robert G. Williams as he presented his son with the chief's badge. "He said, 'I want one. I'm going to be chief.' Mike, I'm proud that you made it."

Michael Williams, who was assistant chief, was the choice of the board to replace Carmen Kesner. He was one of four internal candidates for the job along with Assistant Chief John P. Conlon and Capts. Stephen E. Mikac and Gregory G. Wickett. Conlon placed fourth on the civil service test, narrowing the choice to three.

All four candidates had a three-week tryout for the job after they took the chief's test.

"We've all worked hard at this," Mikac said. "We congratulate Mike. He has a lot of fans out here; a lot of members of the police department came out to support Mike."

Supervisor Steven Walters praised Mikac and Wickett for attending Monday's board meeting in support of Williams.

Also attending was Kesner, who retired in January.

"Things go around in circles," Kesner said. "Chief Williams hired me, and now I was able to pass the torch onto his son, who will do an unbelievable job."

Kesner said all the candidates showed they could do the job.

Michael Williams, 50, joined the department in 1980. He noted that when he went to work with his father as a boy, it was a different era, but it helped him develop a love for the profession. He was particularly moved that his father presented his badge to him.

"I realized what it meant for him to be chief and then for me to be able to fulfill that, also. For him to be here to give me my badge was probably one of the biggest things ever," he said.

e-mail: bobrien@buffnews.com

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