Bluffs council ready to vote on Carmody

Council Bluffs City Council members are set to vote Monday on approving Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody as the leader of the police force in their community.

Leaders of the police union in Council Bluffs had previously objected to the method that was used by Mayor Matt Walsh to select Carmody.

However, they never questioned Carmody’s qualifications for the job.

City officials and the police union are working to resolve the debate over the selection process, according to Councilwoman Melissa Head.

In a message Head posted on her Facebook page Friday, she wrote, “Happy to report that the union and the city have been working together on the hiring process and the police chief selection the past few days. The hope is to use this as a lesson learned and have a set hiring process in place for the next selection.”

“Everyone is happy to welcome Carmody as the new police chief,” she wrote. “As a council member I just want to ensure the union has all the information they have requested and no doubts remain about the legality of the hiring process.”

Councilwoman Sharon White said she expects the council will vote on Carmody’s nomination as planned.

She described Carmody as “head and shoulders above the other candidates.”

“I think the council should feel fortunate to have a candidate like him,” White added.

White said the debate over Carmody’s selection had nothing to do with his qualifications.

“It was all about the process,” she said.

Walsh and Dean Sharp, president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 1, did not return calls seeking comment.

Attempts to contact council members Lynne Branigan, Al Ringgenberg and Nate Watson were unsuccessful.

The police union had questioned the legality of Walsh’s decision to solicit a second round of applicants for the chief’s job after the first attempt yielded only one qualified candidate, according to reports published by Council Bluffs area media.

Carmody has been the police chief in Fort Dodge since Sept. 6, 2010. City officials had previously announced that his last day on the job in Fort Dodge will be Aug. 22.

Fort Dodge City Manager David Fierke has credited Carmody with increasing the professionalism of the Police Department and establishing the Fort Dodge/Webster County Citizens Academy, in which residents learn how various public safety agencies work.