Ottumwa's top cop set to retire

Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark

Ottumwa Police Chief Jim Clark says that he loves his job, but it is just time to go.

After 30 years on the force, Clark announced on Thursday that he will be retiring in February.

Chief Clark began his career with the Ottumwa Police Department on July 1, 1982. As an officer, he was assigned to the Patrol Unit, Investigations Unit, and Training. He was promoted to Sergeant in 1989 and served as a Patrol Supervisor, Investigations Unit Supervisor, Training Supervisor, and Services Division Supervisor. He was promoted to Lieutenant in 1997 and served as Professional Standards Division Commander and Services Division Commander. In July of 2006, he was appointed Acting Chief of Police and made permanent Chief of Police in January of 2007.

In his tenure as Police Chief, Clark has aggressively worked to modernize Ottumwa's Police equipment and operations. Clark was instrumental in obtaining a $375,000 COPS Technology grant used to install the downtown camera system as part of an overall crime prevention effort.

In a written statment Clark said, â??It has been an honor to serve as an Ottumwa Police Officer for thirty plus years. Ottumwa has seen a lot of positive progress and I hope the Police Department has contributed towards that. I am especially proud that we have been able to implement crime-reduction strategies that have resulted in a six year decline in Ottumwa's overall crime rate. We have worked very hard to build a 21st century law enforcement agency that the community can be proud of. We have an outstanding group of men and women dedicated to Ottumwa's safety and security; it has been a real privilege to serve with them."

Clark's retirement date is set for February 23. Lt. Tom McAndrew will assume command as interim Police Chief until the position is filled permanently.