Melcher-Dallas — The Melcher-Dallas City Council voted Wednesday night to hire Beau Wittkowski as the City's new police chief.
Wittkowski had been serving as interim chief, following the resignation of Kevin Hoch. In additional to hiring Wittkowski as chief, the council also approved Doug DeRonde as a part-time officer, John Greatbatch as a reserve officer and agreed to hire another part-time officer. A search will be conducted for this position.
Wittkowski worked for the Marion County Sheriff's Office for five years, before joining the Iowa Department of Transportation in May 2011. A resident of Pleasantville, Wittkowski has worked as a part-time officer for Melcher-Dallas for two years.
"I look forward to taking on this role and moving forward," Wittkowski said Wednesday night. He has worked in law enforcement since January 2006, and worked as a Marion County Sheriff's Reserve prior to that.
The council took no action on a proposal from Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt for coverage. Sandholdt's offer for law enforcement included a fee of $3,000 per month for 40 hours of service, an average of 10 hours per week.
Sandholdt was questioned by the council in regard to the fee being twice as high as the fee the office charges the City of Bussey. Sandholdt explained that this was because Melcher-Dallas has twice the population of Bussey.
Councilor Terry Fisher did not believe that 40 hours from the Sheriff's Department would provide adequate protection for the town. He made a motion to continue the Melcher-Dallas Police Department.
The sheriff will leave the contract offer open through the council's regular meeting on July 14. Wittkowski's wage will be $17 an hour. His schedule will vary based upon need. Even though the City did not sign the agreement with the Sheriff's Department, Sandholdt said his deputies will continue to assist the City in emergency situations.