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New Iowa City interim police chief preparing for permanent successor

Campbell says he hasn't applied for permanent chief position

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IOWA CITY — The Iowa City Police Department’s newest interim chief said he wants to make sure the department is ready for a new permanent chief.

“We want to steer the ship in a way that makes it so when this new chief comes in, he or she is going to have a department that’s healthy and ready to go in whatever direction he or she may have for it,” said Capt. Bill Campbell, who was named interim chief on Friday.

Campbell, the department’s administrative captain, began leading the department on an interim basis on Oct. 1. Capt. Troy Kelsay, who leads the operations division, previously served as interim chief. The Iowa Code dictates that an interim police chief position can only be held by an individual for 90 days.

The city is in the process of finding a permanent replacement for former Chief Sam Hargadine, who retired at the end of June.

Campbell has climbed the ranks within the department over his 26-year career. Hired as a patrol officer in April 1990, Campbell was promoted to sergeant in December 1996, lieutenant in June 2008 and captain this past May. His duties over his career include public information officer, records division supervisor and investigations supervisor. He was a founding member of the department’s Special Response Team and served as commander of that unit for the last eight years.

Campbell also worked with the Iowa City Community School District on the design and implementation of the district’s emergency response plan, according to a city news release.

“There are so many different things that come across my desk, situations we get to handle,” he said. “It’s certainly a career that’s constantly changing and has constant challenges.”

Those challenges now include his duties as both interim chief and administrative captain. Campbell notes that Iowa City is busy during the fall with football season and the department is at the culmination of its reaccreditation process, with assessors expected to visit the department and review its policies this fall.

Campbell said he has not applied for the chief position, but hopes to be a “good supporting member of that command staff” when a new chief is named. In the meantime, Campbell said he and Kelsay will work to ensure the department is well-run until a chief is named.

“The goal is to have it be a department that when the new chief comes in, they can take over and have a department that runs smoothly,” Campbell said.

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