IOWA CITY — In a move the Iowa City manager concedes is unusual, a police captain voluntarily has demoted himself two ranks, to sergeant.
Iowa City Police Chief Sam Hargadine confirmed Monday that Doug Hart, formerly the captain of administrative services for the police department, has been voluntarily demoted to sergeant of training and accreditation.
Hart could not be reached for comment Monday and neither Hargadine nor City Manager Tom Markus disclosed the reasoning behind the personnel change.
“I’m not going to make any comments on that because we’re getting into the personnel side,” Hargadine said.
Hargadine said the decision did not involve any illegal activity nor did it involve anything that put public safety or the department’s integrity at risk. He added that he doesn’t know how frequently such demotions occur in law enforcement.
“It is unusual,” Markus said.
Markus said he was part of conversations that resulted in Hart’s demotion and said he became aware of those discussions last week.
“I don’t know how long they’ve been discussing it or he’s been discussing it,” Markus said.
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As the administrative services captain, Hart oversaw emergency communications, records, property and evidence, training and accreditation, crime prevention, planning and research and animal control.
The Iowa City Police Department employs two captains. The second oversees field operations.
As training and accreditation sergeant, Hart will be responsible for maintaining the mandated level of training for the department and developing and maintaining records related to the department’s compliance with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, according to the police department’s website.
With Hart’s demotion to sergeant, the police department will have to promote a sergeant to lieutenant and lieutenant to captain. Hargadine said he anticipates promoting a new lieutenant in the coming days.
However, because the department does not have a valid civil service list for captain, it will be longer before someone is named to that position, he noted.
For the time being, Hargadine said he is overseeing all administrative matters.
Hart was hired by the police department in September 1992 and was promoted to captain in April 2014. His salary as captain was $109,886.40, according to the city’s human resources department. His new salary is $97,177.60.