Waterloo Police Chief resigns; accepts position in Colorado

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:54 PM CDT
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - The Police Chief of Waterloo has resigned after accepting a position in the state of Colorado.

Fitzgerald served as the City’s Police Chief for two years, guiding the department through a national call for police reform and COVID-19.

“The competition for highly educated and experienced professionals keeps getting tougher, especially when competing against larger markets for skilled talent,” says Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart. “In this economy, everyone must do what is right for their family. We wish the Fitzgerald family well and thank Joel for all he accomplished in his time here. From the moment Joel arrived on the evening of the George Floyd protests, he began instituting much-needed changes within our police force. These changes were not always popular. Change rarely is, but we have seen the positive impact these changes have made both internally and in our neighborhoods through increased community engagement. The Waterloo PD should be very proud of their accomplishments over the last two years.”

Fitzerald instituted many changes to the operations of the Waterloo Police Department including:

  • Cutting-edge technology upgrades to police equipment and software
  • Elevate Mental Health partnership – embedding social workers to assist with mental health cases
  • Critical Incident Trained Officers (CIT)
  • Decrease in civil litigation against Waterloo PD

Effective Friday, Dr. Joel Fitzerald will no longer be the Police Chief in Waterloo, and Assistant Chief Joe Leibold will take over the role on an interim basis.

Leibold is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has served as a member of the Waterloo Police Department since 1990.

“Waterloo PD has put great people in leadership positions and has great veteran and young officers working diligently to provide for community safety. With this team in place, we are well positioned to serve the changing needs of our community, “says Assistant Chief Leibold. “I am honored to serve this department in this capacity and look forward to building even greater bonds with the residents of Waterloo.”

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