Dubuque police chief talks impact and legacy of late chief Dalsing

The Dubuque Police Department is honoring the impact and legacy of late police chief Mark Dalsing.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 5:28 AM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Chief Jeremy Jensen with the Dubuque Police Department says former chief Mark Dalsing’s legacy will live on forever.

Chief Dalsing died on Friday after a sudden illness. He served the Dubuque Police Department for more than three decades and retired in 2021.

“It is hard,” Jensen, Dalsing’s successor, said. “It is a friendship first, and then comes everything else.”

Jensen was appointed as Dalsing’s successor in March, but they had worked together for 28 years. Chief Dalsing was one of Jensen’s original field training officers. He was also the one that promoted him to captain in 2012 and then to assistant chief of police in 2018.

Jensen said, now that Dalsing has passed, he feels a new sense of responsibility being his successor.

“You know that saying, ‘You stand on the shoulders of the previous generation’? Well, I was standing on his (Dalsing’s) pretty hard here the last few months,” Jensen mentioned. “I had my resource, I could still call him, text him and say, ‘Hey what is up with this’, or ‘What do you think about that?’ Now I do not have that, and now there is this sense of responsibility that things that he started seems like there is more urgency to it.

He points to two major projects that Dalsing started that he wants to make sure keep moving forward. First, he emphasized how Dalsing focused heavily on officer wellness, both physically and mentally. He also mentioned the former chief made community engagement a priority, encouraging officers to become a part of the community more than just patrolling.

“It is so interesting to see how much impact he had,” Jensen commented. “I knew he was involved in a lot. You would go anywhere with him and people knew him, but now you are hearing the little stories. If you ran into Mark at the store with your kids, he would ignore you and go to your kids and start playing with your kids. That is the way he was.”

Jensen said, right now, making sure their officers are healthy is the number one priority. He explained the Wellness Committee, an initiative Dalsing started, and peer support groups have been at the police department nonstop assisting staff.

A visitation will be held at the Church of the Nativity in Dubuque on Wednesday, April 20 from 2 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. A wake service will follow at 7:45 p.m.

On Thursday, April 21 at 10:30 a.m., a funeral Mass will be held at the church. The burial will follow at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

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