University Heights looking to add full-time officer, represents 20-percent of city's police

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Iowa (KCRG) - Police in University Heights are looking for a new officer- and while that may not seem like much, one officer represents 20% of the department in University Heights.

A University Heights Police Department vehicle is parked outside the department on October 11, 2019. (Aaron Scheinblum/KCRG)

Chief Troy Kelsay said one of its full-time officers, Officer Jeremy Stenda, left to take a job on the east coast. Stenda started with the University Heights Police Department a few years back and recently was a part-time officer. When Chief Kelsay started as the chief, he offered Stenda a full-time role.

Stenda left the force near the end of September, and now Chief Kelsay said he has begun the process of looking for a new officer to fill that space.

Chief Kelsay said while losing an officer is not ideal, the department is still in a good place. He said the experienced officers he has hired since taking over as chief in May will allow them to handle the busy football season.

"We right now have four full-time officers that have I believe between them 80-years experience," Chief Kelsay said. "So we're sitting in a great spot. Football is where we are taxed the most or stressed the most throughout the year and we are totally comfortable."

Chief Kelsay said while he understands that his police department cannot offer as much as far as salaries and benefits compared to larger cities like Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, he believes the pay is competitive and strong, especially if they were to pay the max salary, based on an officer's experience.

Chief Kelsay said they are not necessarily in a hurry, but said he is open to discussing with anyone who might be interested.

Anyone who is interested in applying for the open position can contact Chief Kelsay by calling the University Heights Police Department or through the UHPD website.