Burdess & Breckenridge taking over as interim Chief for Newton PD

Burdess & Breckenridge taking over as interim Chief for Newton PD


With the pending retirement of Newton Police Chief Jeff Hoebelheinrich, the department has prepared for Hoebelheinrich’s leave prior to his actual retirement date the first of September.

Starting Tuesday, Hoebelheinrich will be taking leave days, putting Lieutenants Rob Burdess and Wes Breckenridge in charge as acting chief of police. The two will split the time with Burdess taking the lead April 7 through June 18 and Breckenridge taking over June 19 through Sept. 1.

“From the outside looking in there will be very little difference,” Burdess said.

The department will continue with business as usual, he said, and if a citizen needs any assistance they should contact the police department as they would have before. Also, groups that are affiliated with the department have been notified and given updated contact information on the acting chief.

Breckenridge said the city approached all of the lieutenants to see who would be interested in being acting chief. Burdess and Breckenridge expressed interest and submitted qualifications and a letter of interest. It was then decided the time would be split between the two officers while the hiring process for a new chief takes place.

“When they (citizens) are talking to the active chief, the chief has the same full force and same responsibility as full chief, they are not getting anything less. They will be able to get the exact same response or outcome as if they were talking to me,” Hoebelheinrich said.

A lot of agencies around the state choose to bring in a retired officer or someone on a leave of absence to help during the transition time, Hoebelheinrich said. Because all of the lieutenants are very qualified, the department does not have to go out and get anyone.

“We already have the staffing that are able to make the decisions. We are fortunate we don’t have to find someone from outside, we have the people here that can make the decision so there will be no hiring in the interval,” Hoebelheinrich said.

Although he will be out of the office, Hoebelheinrich will not be completely away from the force. The chief will still be in on occasion, but the city thought it was best to have an acting chief that was there on a daily basis.

“We invite all of the citizens to go to Newtongov.org and check out our police department website as well as the police department Facebook page. Hopefully we may even have an update on the process as things go, if things change or if a new process is started,” Hoebelheinrich said. “We’ve had great support from the community, it’s just fantastic.”

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com

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