(An open letter to retiring Adel Police Chief, Jim McNeil – Editor)
On behalf of the city council, staff, and the citizens of Adel I would like to express my sincere appreciation and deepest sense of gratitude for your 29 years of dedicated service to the City of Adel.
Although you are departing while I am still in office, I have always told you that you would be my legacy. I can honestly say that during 24 years as mayor, hiring you as Chief of Police was the best decision I have ever made as measured by the positive impact your service has had on the city.
You have the respect of your staff, other law enforcement peers and the public. This respect was earned through your leadership, reliability, expertise and the ability to follow through. This respect also translated into trust… the trust that you would always be consistently fair and firm… and you have been.
During your tenure the professional-ism of the department has been elevated through facilities, equipment and training. You increased the police office space by five times what it was and provided the department better working conditions. The vehicle fleet has transformed from four door sedans to SUV’s with the accessories, equipment and resources to compete with other police departments. And, most importantly, you increased your staff’s wages to make them competitive in the market place which helped reduce department turnover.
In your role of disaster coordinator you have seen us through our most common disaster – flooding. Next to the flood of ’93, the ’08 flood was the city’s biggest test. The mitigation efforts you put in place, including the berms throughout Kinnick – Feller Park and the portable dike system at the track / football field area gave residents there a feeling of security knowing you were in charge and flood damage would be held to a minimum.
And, of course, the McNeill spillway (by your design) near the dam and water plant where a permanent mitigation effort requires no sandbagging for most of our flood events. This properly designated spillway is your lasting legacy for flood protection in that part of the city.
And finally Chief, you have always, always looked out for the best interest of the city. Many times you have assisted staff in an open way, or other times, quietly behind the scenes to make something happen, or prevent something from happening with either a light touch, or if necessary, a firm hand. Only in your absence will I truly appreciate all you have done for the city. Simply said…
Thank you Chief,
James F. Peters, Mayor