A re-run of “To The Point” is playing and the new Police Chief was on today. To the Point with Beth Malicki is a 30 minute weekly program that brings community leaders together to discuss what is happening in Eastern Iowa and what needs to happen to make it a better place to live, work, and play.
Today’s episode re-aired the new police chief we just hired from Maryland. Our last chief was hired out of Florida after being offered the Chief of Police position in his home state. It’s not as if we didn’t have a great candidate locally named Steve O’Konek, here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa but because he was local he was overlooked. Some firm said another guy from out of state was better for the job.
This is an email I sent to Jeff Pomeranz, the City Manager, asking why Steve wasn’t considered. Yes, this email was written in September, but I am clearly still salty about this issue and I am fed up with all the violence including police violence.
From: Ajai Dittmar~http://cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com/ [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Tuesday, September 18, 2012 12:45 PM
To: Pomeranz, Jeff
Subject: Police Cheif
Why wasn’t Steve picked?
Wed, Sep 19, 2012 12:49 pm
RE: Police Cheif
||Pomeranz, Jeff J.Pomeranz@cedar-rapids.orghide details
||‘Ajai Dittmar~https://cedarrapidsactivist.wordpress.com/’ email@example.com
Thanks for the question. I like and respect Steve as well. It was my job to select the best person for the job. That does not take away from the qualifications of the local candidate. I like and believe in appointing local when possible. An example of this is Mark English, our relatively new Fire Chief.
I spent a tremendous amount of effort on this search. We hired one of the best search firms in the country to help. The Civil Service Commission did its part. Chief German was ranked #1 by that body. We had numerous employees, citizens and outside agencies participate in the process. I followed up with site visits. Others joined me on the visits, including a police officer. Significant background checks were also completed.
My job and goal was to recommend the best and strongest candidate, recognizing our current environment and needs. While I realize that you feel differently about the selection, I certainly respect your opinion. This was not an easy choice for me.
I believe you will find Chief German a very open, honest and capable choice.
Who is Wayne Jerman? http://connectedcommunities.us/showthread.php?t=22733
“I will not let you down“: http://thegazette.com/2012/10/29/i-will-not-let-you-down-new-cedar-rapids-police-chief-says/
Wayne Jerman “irate” over shootings in Cedar Rapids area:
On Wayne Jerman’s watch a citizen was shot to death by POLICE!
What if the Montgomery County Maryland Police Department offered to hire Mr. Jerman as their Police Chief , like the last Police Chief we hired from Florida? Would he go like our last Police Chief? Is there a contract between the CRPD and Mr. Jerman? Who does he have in Cedar Rapids to keep him here? Does he have any children or grandchildren who reside in Iowa?
Here is the guy we should have hired! Steve O”Konek. Yes, I am still salty about the decision. I don’t think Jerman was the best choice for this position! I am not saying he isn’t a good cop or that he won’t do a satisfactory job but I know Steve personally and I think that he was the right man for the job! Mr. Jerman knows nothing about our community and is already “irate” over the shootings that have taken place. Steve O’Konek has strong ties within the community and was one of three Cedar Rapids police captains who helped run the Police Department while the City looked for a new Police Chief to replace Greg Graham, who left in January, after being offered a police chief position in his home state of Florida!