Marion announces new police chief

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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - The city of Marion announced the hiring of its new police chief, city officials said on Monday.

Mike Kitsmiller (Courtesy: City of Marion)

Mike Kitsmiller will start in the role on Monday, September 30, 2019, assuming the Marion city council approves the details of his contract during their next meeting on Thursday, September 19.

“I am honored and very excited about the opportunity to work for the City of Marion and lead the men and women of the Marion Police Department,” Kitsmiller said, in a statement. “Marion is one of the safest cities in Iowa due to the exemplary service provided by the department in conjunction with the broad support they have from the community including the City Council, Mayor and City Manager. I look forward to leading the efforts to build on those successes.”

Kitsmiller previously worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the past 20 years, primarily serving in eastern Iowa. He has another 11 years of experience with the Memphis Police Department.

“We were happy to have a group of highly-qualified candidates,” Marion City Manager Lon Pluckhahn said. “Mr. Kitsmiller has a solid reputation within the law enforcement community and will bring an extensive network of contacts and resources to Marion. He has ties to our area and is a familiar face to our partner agencies.”

Kitsmiller's children were graduates of Linn-Mar High School, and the family will be moving to Marion from their current home outside of the metro area.

Marion's former police chief Joseph McHale resigned in June 2019. He said he was taking a consulting job in Florida in the private sector. The department was in some turmoil earlier this year stemming from an internal personnel investigation that led to the police union to issue a vote of no confidence in the department's administration in June.

The Marion Police Department has 45 officers and 15 civilian employees, who Kitsmiller will be overseeing.