The Gazette covers City Hall, now a flood-damaged icon on May's Island in the Cedar River

Police Department watchers: Relax; City Hall says police chief announcement likely next week, not this week

In City Hall, Police Department on May 7, 2008 at 6:33 pm

The city manager’s office on Wednesday said it hoped to name the city’s new police chief next week, the week of May 12.

Four finalists remain in the running, two out-of-staters, and two locals. They are Kenneth Greg Graham, 46, deputy police chief in Ocala, Fla.; Jeff Hadley, 37, police captain in Fort Wayne, Ind.; and Steve O’Konek, 46, and Bernie Walther, 47, Cedar Rapids police captains.

After a first round of interviews of seven candidates, the city’s Civil Service Commission determined that five of the seven were qualified to be the Cedar Rapids chief. The commission ranked the five, with O’Konek first, Graham, second, Hadley, third, Capt. Joseph D’Agostino, 49, of the Port St. Lucie, Fla., fourth, and Walther, fifth.

D’Agostino withdrew after a second round of interviews with City Manager Jim Prosser, Mo Sheronick, assistant city attorney, and Conni Huber, the city’s human resources director.

Prosser makes the final selection with the approval of the City Council.

The new chief replaces Mike Klappholz, who retired in March.

During the first interviews, Sheronick noted that the Cedar Rapids department has not had a chief from outside its ranks for more than 30 years.

Videotapes of the first round of interviews can be found at


  1. I’m hearing a letter has already been sent to the person and the City is waiting for his response. In reviewing the interviews, Mr. Graham would be a good choice. Whoever becomes the Chief he faces some serious issues that have lingered far to long. I wish him the best.

  2. SJ: Do you think the chief will be local or not and why?

  3. I would hope the Chief comes from the outside. I think the majority of the Council favor an outsider too. Of the two local candidates one will make an excellent Chief someday but not now. The problems within the Dept require someone from the outside to to put the Dept Back Online. I remember when Wally LaPeters was appointed. He make some major improvements within the Dept before politics destroyed him. I think we are at the same point this time where an outsider is needed to infuse some new ideas etc. Whoever becomes Chief will earn every bit of his salary.

  4. If the new police chief emphasized the enforcement of traffic laws to protect bicyclists he/she would immediately make many new friends and possibly save some lives.

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