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New Mason City police chief coming from Ames
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New Mason City police chief coming from Ames

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MASON CITY | Ames Police Lt. Jeff Brinkley will be the next Mason City police chief, pending City Council approval at its meeting Tuesday.

Brinkley, 42, an Ames police officer for 20 years, is a lieutenant in the patrol division. He will succeed Chief Mike Lashbrook, who is retiring at the end of the year. Brinkley is expected to take over on Jan. 4.

The city began a search for Lashbrook's replacement in September with the use of Moulder and Associates, a Des Moines search firm.

The search firm interviewed city officials and Mason City police officers to develop a position profile to provide to prospective candidates.

The search firm came up with nine candidates which the city then narrowed to five finalists. The city then hired a consulting firm to help assess the readiness of each candidate to be the police chief on the basis of education, experience and responses during personal interviews.

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The four other finalists were Mason City Capt. Mike McKelvey; H.C. "Skip" Clark of Peach Tree, Georgia; Peter Ketchum of Franklin, Indiana; and Timothy Sittig of Mount Pleasant.

Brinkley has a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and a master's degree in public administration, both from Iowa State University, and has attended several management training sessions for higher level police positions.

During the search process, Brinkley shared his philosophy on police work, saying, "Citizens are co-producers of law-enforcement services, so we rely heavily on our community not just to fund us but to work with us.

"So I hope to continue to build on what sounds to me like is already a good system in place here with the department on that and have them be eyes and ears for us.

"We can't be everywhere, so we've got to trust when they say, 'Hey, something's wrong;' it's our job to figure it out and respond appropriately."

Brinkley's annual salary will be $93,017. City Administrator Brent Trout said there is little impact on the budget since Brinkley's starting pay is lower than Lashbrook's current pay. The city will provide Brinkley with up to $5,000 in moving expenses.    

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