Local law enforcement officers, at both the Police Department and Linn County Sheriff’s Office, this morning have reported that City Manager Jim Prosser has selected Kenneth Greg Graham, 46, deputy chief of the Ocala, Fla., Police Department, as Cedar Rapids’ next police.
Graham goes by Greg in Ocala.
In picking Graham, Prosser opted not to choose two local police captains, Steve O’Konek, 46, and Bernie Walther, 47, who also were finalists for the position.
In Cedar Rapids’ form of government, the city manager selects the police chief with approval from the City Council. The City Council will vote on the selection at its meeting Wednesday evening, though the vote is likely a formality.
Prosser last week said he would inform the council and Police Department before making his selection public.
He was at the Police Department at 8 a.m. Tuesday. By the time he left at 8:45 a.m., news of his pick for chief was already circulating.
Prosser said he would comment later Tuesday.
Ocala, Fla., is about half the size of Cedar Rapids, and its police department has fewer sworn officers.
In Graham’s public interview in front of the Cedar Rapids Civil Service Commission last month, he said Cedar Rapidians would see a lot of him if he became the city’s new police chief. About three times a month, “I put on a uniform, I get in the police car, and I go out and work calls for service,” Graham told the seven-member local panel interviewing him. “The chief’s got to be everywhere.”
Graham will be the department’s first chief to be hired from outside the ranks for more than 30 years. He told the committee interviewing him last month that a willingness to listen would be especially helpful to an outsider’s adjustment.
“I enjoy when people disagree with me because that’s when you learn,” he said.