The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

May 10, 2013

Police chief candidates meet the public


"We have the best department I've seen in 25 years of doing this," McAndrew told the Courier. "We have the best [people] and a strong command staff."

He likes working with those leaders, deciding on the direction the department needs to go, choosing a goal with their assistance and then driving toward that goal. Right now, long-term strategies are difficult to decide on, he said. The department is currently short-handed. He had been Ottumwa's chief detective and supervisor of the anti-drug task force. He's added patrol commander and police chief to his responsibilities.

"It'll be nice to have a chief, whoever it is," he said.

If it's him, he wants to maintain the Ottumwa Police Department as a place that's rewarding to work at and where employees like coming to their job.

But if the city hired one of the other two? He's met them, he said, and after speaking with them, feels they'd be good chiefs, too. If one of them was appointed, they'll have good officers and a good, loyal command staff — which will include McAndrews himself, he said.

Jirak is a lieutenant with the Muscatine Police Department. He is also chief of the Nichols Police Department.

When he arrives in Ottumwa, he said, there's something very familiar to him: the demographics, the diversity, the community itself reminds him of Muscatine. It feels like home, he said. In fact, both communities face many of the same problems.

"The community is always first," he said Thursday.

That's why, to do his job, he feels a team approach is most effective. And that does not mean just a team of police officers — he will work with community leaders from the Hispanic population, from the faith community, business people and city department heads to solve problems. He'll be a member of that team. His style of "problem-related policing" requires an officer who has the ability to speak to all of those varied people and more.

Text Only
Local News
  • It feels good to help others OTTUMWA — Volunteering helps the community in multiple ways. But don't ignore the good things this new RSVP program will do for the volunteer. "There are health and social benefits," said Desiree Johnson, president and CEO of the United Way of Wapell

    August 1, 2014

  • 0802 OTT 73 Annual Golf Classic 73rd Annual Golf Classic OTTUMWA — There were a few records broken at the 73rd Annual Chamber Golf Classic Friday. "We had a record amount of people, and we also had a record amount of sponsors," said Tim Kurtz, executive director of the Ottumwa Area Chamber of Commerce. Fri

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Beach Task Force formation under consideration OTTUMWA — From the establishment of a Beach Task Force, to public hearings, to a discussion of open meetings rules and training, the Ottumwa City Council will have a full pate of items to digest during its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The council will

    August 1, 2014

  • Sewer works starts on Glenwood OTTUMWA — The 900 block of Glenwood Avenue will be closed to traffic starting Tuesday, Aug. 5. Boitnott Enterprises will be closing that block of Glenwood for a repair of a sewer lateral. Motorists should seek other routes around the work zone. Thi

    August 1, 2014

  • Emergency Management Coordinator leaving OTTUMWA — Wapello County Supervisors are hoping to compromise and assign a tax sale certificate to property owners within the city of Ottumwa. On Tuesday, the board will meet at 9:30 a.m. in the third-floor meeting room to discuss a variety of issues

    August 1, 2014

  • CAUTION: Drivers will notice delays on Quincy Ave. OTTUMWA — Beginning Monday, drivers on Quincy Avenue will start to notice the beginning of a major reconstruction project in South Ottumwa. The right lane of northbound traffic on Quincy Avenue, from the car wash located near the Quincy Place Mall's

    August 1, 2014

  • Transfer of West Nile Virus First reports of West Nile Virus coming in OTTUMWA — Three cases of West Nile Virus have already been reported in the state of Iowa this summer, but the timing isn't much out of the ordinary, local officials say. Current surveillance data shows one case each in Clay, Monona and Woodbury count

    August 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • WWI outbreak stranded Ottumwan in Paris

    OTTUMWA — Being stuck in Paris isn’t the worst thing in the world. The City of Light has always been a key stop for Americans traveling to Europe. It’s a city of culture, capitol of a world power. But Howell Cresswell, an Ottumwan in Paris, wanted no

    August 1, 2014

  • File.png Pleasant start to August

    OTTUMWA — Seasonal temperatures and a slight risk of rain herald the arrival of August in southeast Iowa.

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Graham's presentation A sweet history lesson OTTUMWA — In one of the most popular monthly presentations the Wapello County Historical Society has ever hosted, it was standing-room only to hear the history of Graham Milk and Ice Cream Company and try some of the popular product. A landmark in Ot

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

Photo reprints