The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

January 24, 2013

Clark retiring from OPD

Ottumwa police chief to step down Feb. 23

OTTUMWA — By CHELSEA DAVIS

Courier staff writer

OTTUMWA — Thirty years after he stepped out as a patrol officer, Police Chief Jim Clark has announced his retirement from the Ottumwa Police Department.

Clark began his law enforcement career assigned to patrol, investigations and training on July 1, 1982.

He plans to start his retirement — which takes effect Feb. 23 — on a beach in Florida.

“We will be moving to Florida and living on the beach in Florida,” he told the Courier Thursday. “We decided that’s where we’d like to retire.”

When Clark started his career, he said it was the end of an era.

“It was the end of an era where a lot of people were hired because they were big or had just got out of the military,” he said. “I had two years’ experience from a small agency, and I think that’s how I got hired.”

Today, most of Ottumwa’s officers have college degrees. The department also puts a lot of time and money into training its officers.

“Years ago you gave a person a gun and a badge when they started, and they went out and learned on their own or from a senior officer,” he said. “Now they’re trained before they go out, or it’s been shown to be negligence if you put someone out there without being trained first.”

Over the years, the OPD has changed considerably, both in professionalism and technologically, he said.

“In the early ’80s, there was a lot of court cases that came about that changed a lot of the way law enforcement was conducted, such as how searches are conducted,” he said. “Miranda was clarified back then, too.”

Clark was promoted to sergeant in 1989 and served as supervisor of patrol, investigations, training and services. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1997 and served as professional standards division commander and services division commander. In July 2006, he was appointed acting chief of police and was made permanent chief of police in January 2007.

He said opening up the department to the community and making it more transparent has been one of his biggest achievements.

He also said starting the Citizens Police Academy, the OPD’s Facebook page, going to the Home and Garden Show and participating in the Oktoberfest parade has let the public see a different side of the department.

Clark helped obtain a $375,000 COPS Technology grant in 2010, which was used to install the downtown camera system as part of an overall crime prevention effort.

“Certainly, people have found that there is not the big concern as they first thought there was with the camera system,” he said. “The downtown camera system has been really beneficial in the number of prosecutions, and it’s helped reduce crime.”

For six years in a row, Clark said reported crime in Ottumwa has dropped. As he prepares his annual report this month regarding crime in Ottumwa in 2012, he said that trend continued.

Lt. Tom McAndrew will assume command as interim police chief until the position is filled permanently.

“His name will be presented to the City Council for their approval in an upcoming meeting,” Clark said.

The Civil Service Commission will then obtain a list of possible replacements, and once the list is certified, a person will be selected to be approved by the council.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Ups and downs OTTUMWA — Iowa's governor and his lieutenant seemed thrilled with part of the employment news Friday. Gov. Terry Branstad's Twitter page said: "BREAKING: Iowa's employment reaches all-time high of 1,615,200." Iowa Workforce Development confirms the n

    April 18, 2014

  • 15-minutes.png A change at Evans

    OTTUMWA — You can get kids to memorize facts. But teaching them to think can take more time. Educational leaders told the Ottumwa school board that the school year that begins 2014 will shift Evans Middle School students from 45-minute periods to 60-

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Those who came before OTTUMWA — There is so much information on researching genealogy, beginners may not know where to start. But experts and knowledgeable amateurs will offer help as they gather for a free Family History Fair to share which websites are worthwhile and wh

    April 18, 2014

  • 0419 OTT Tree planting color photo -T -M -L Young Ottumwans show their green thumbs OTTUMWA — Several of Ottumwa’s cemeteries and parks were recipients of new trees this week as Ottumwa High School students and Eagle Scouts dedicated their time to planting dozens of trees around the city. Students from the OHS JROTC class were at Ot

    April 18, 2014 4 Photos

  • 0419 OTT Prayer Walk 2 bw photo -L -M -T On a journey OTTUMWA — The seven blocks through the center of Ottumwa took more than an hour and a half to walk as 25 people prayed and read Scripture to reflect on the events of Good Friday. Led by the Ottumwa Area Fellowship of Pastors, the walk began at First

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • 0419 OTT drought map -L -T -M Drought weakens grip on Iowa OTTUMWA — Last weekend saw the first significant rains in quite some time for the Ottumwa area. How long? The last day with at least a half-inch of rain was back on Nov. 20. It was a welcome rain, arriving after the ground had thawed. That allowed at

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Eugene Clark STOCKPORT — Eugene Morris Clark, 90, of Stockport, died at 5:30 p.m. April 17, 2014, at Good Samaritan Health and Rehabilitation Center, Ottumwa. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Monday in Spencer Cemetery northeast of Stockport; Pastor Richard

    April 18, 2014

  • Civil War Round Table visited by baseball historian OTTUMWA — The Civil War Round Table was treated to a special guest Thursday night and a presentation about how baseball during the Civil War era helped shape Iowa as we know it. John Liepa, former history and political science professor at Des Moines

    April 18, 2014

  • Three-day forecast Today ... Sunny, with a high near 76. Breezy, with a southeast wind 10 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Tonight ... Partly cloudy, with a low around 53. Breezy, with a south wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph. Sunday ... Partly su

    April 18, 2014

  • 0418 OTT Tree City U.S.A. logo Ottumwa awarded as Tree City U.S.A. again OTTUMWA — Having big, beautiful trees throughout a community can help spruce up a city and make it more attractive to visitors. Ottumwa has shown a dedication to making the community more green and inviting, and the efforts have been recognized by th

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook
E-edition