BREAKING NEWS

Marion names former FBI employee as new police chief

MARION — The city announced Monday that it named a former Federal Bureau of Investigation employee as its new police chief.

Mike Kitsmiller has been with the FBI for 20 years and has broad supervisory and executive management experience, according to a news release. He spent more than 11 years with the Memphis Police Department before joining the FBI. Additionally, he is a trainer in law enforcement and a public speaker.

“We were happy to have a group of highly qualified candidates,” City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said. “Mr. Kitsmiller has a solid reputation within the law enforcement community and will bring an extensive network of contacts and resources to Marion. He has ties to our area and is a familiar face to our partner agencies.”

As police chief, Kitsmiller will be responsible for all Marion Police Department activities and divisions, including patrol, investigations, support services and communications.

The department employs 45 sworn officers and 15 civilian employees.

“I am honored and very excited about the opportunity to work for the city of Marion and lead the men and women of the Marion Police Department,” Kitsmiller said. “Marion is one of the safest cities in Iowa due to the exemplary service provided by the department in conjunction with the broad support they have from the community, including the City Council, mayor and city manager. I look forward to leading the efforts to build on those successes.”

During his first few months on the job, Kitsmiller said, he expects to focus on getting to know the department and city personnel, as well as the community.

Former Marion Police Chief Joseph McHale resigned in April, less than a year after he had unveiled the department’s first five-year strategic plan. It included adding 10 sworn officers and 12 civilian employees over the next five years, upgrading technology, restructuring the department, reorganizing staff and better prioritizing service calls and officer response.

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In the interim, the role of chief was filled by Lts. Chad Nott and Scott Elam, both 23-year veterans of the force who also were in the running for the position.

Comments: (319) 398-8238; kat.russell@thegazette.com

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