Ottumwa is already a good place, but Jirak feels he could be part of improving that good place, bringing it to a new level. Some of the problems being experienced in Ottumwa right now, he said, have afflicted Muscatine for years. They've learned to deal with challenges from a changing population leading to more diversity than they'd had in the past. They have also had to work on drug and gang problems. The MPD didn't do everything perfectly, he said, but they did learn from their mistakes and improved. That experience, of strategies that work, is part of what he'd bring to Ottumwa as chief, he said.
The council will meet the candidates, then formalize the appointment of the new chief at a future meeting.
To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark