The Ottumwa Courier

Ottumwa

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
Ottumwa
  • Urbandale comes back to beat Ottumwa Midwest BOONE — Ottumwa Midwest led by seven runs in the fourth inning, but Urbandale National put together a furious comeback to steal the victory, 12-11, on Friday at the 9-10 Year Old Little League State Baseball Tournament. The top of the first saw Ottum

    July 25, 2014

  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National