Johnson County Metro

Kelsay named interim Iowa City police chief

Will begin duties July 1; search continues for permanent chief

Iowa City Police Capt. Troy Kelsay speaks at a news conference about the Marcus Owens investigation at City Hall in Iowa City on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Kelsay was named the city’s interim police chief Tuesday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)
Iowa City Police Capt. Troy Kelsay speaks at a news conference about the Marcus Owens investigation at City Hall in Iowa City on Tuesday, May 17, 2016. Kelsay was named the city’s interim police chief Tuesday. (Adam Wesley/The Gazette)

IOWA CITY — Iowa City Police Capt. Troy Kelsay will serve as the department’s interim chief as the city searches for a permanent leader for the department.

Interim city manager Geoff Fruin announced the appointment on Tuesday. Kelsay will take over as interim chief on July 1, following the retirement of Chief Sam Hargadine.

“I have the utmost confidence in Captain Kelsay’s ability to lead the Iowa City Police Department during this transitionary period,” Fruin said in a news release. “While temporarily short-handed, the police department will continue to rise to the challenge and serve Iowa City with a great deal of passion for their work and respect and compassion for the community and our residents.”

Kelsay was hired by the Iowa City Police Department in July 1991 and was promoted to sergeant a decade later. He was promoted to lieutenant in April 2014 and to captain in May 2015.

Kelsay is a graduate of the University of Iowa and a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy.

Fruin told the Gazette that it would be premature to discuss whether Kelsay would be a candidate for the permanent chief position, while also offering him praise. Fruin said Kelsay would have to apply for the position, if that’s something he wants to do.

“I certainly think he has the qualifications to be considered,” Fruin said. “He has an excellent work history here with the Iowa City Police Department.”

Under Iowa law, an interim police chief can serve for a maximum of 90 days before another interim chief must be named. The same interim chief cannot be extended or reappointed, Fruin said. Fruin said it’s likely that a second interim chief will be needed.

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“I think there’s a good likelihood (the search process) will last longer than 90 days,” he said. “Certainly, we’re going to move forward as quickly as we can. If you factor in the steps of the process, it’s likely to exceed 90 days.”

The city is preparing to launch a nationwide search for a police chief, according to the news release.

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