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

Prosser picks Florida deputy chief as Cedar Rapids’ new police chief

In City Hall, Police Department on May 13, 2008 at 2:07 pm

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.


  1. I wish Mr Graham, Good Luck and Welcome to Cedar Rapids.

  2. Mr. Graham, welcome to Cedar Rapids. You are officially a Cedar Rapidian. I have some friendly advice for you. Start preparing now for the Iowa winters and 30 days of continuous clouds. Also, buy some bug repellant.

  3. I have worked with him in Ocala since he began working at the Ocala Police Department – Cedar Rapids could not have made a better choice. It appears that he arrived at a time when all his ability and experience is needed – God still knows what he is doing.

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