Dubuque's Police Chief reflects on 31 years in law enforcement - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dubuque's Police Chief reflects on 31 years in law enforcement

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- After more than 30 years of law enforcement experience - Dubuque Police Chief - Kim Wadding is retiring. But of the course of the last 30 years - Wadding's seen many changes - both in how he does his job and how police officers do there's.

Tuesday night the City of Dubuque honored Wadding at a retirement reception. And he says whether it's technology, drugs, investigative techniques or policing methods - the changes he's seen in the last 30 years are helping keep you safe.

Eight years ago - Wadding moved from Newton to Dubuque - as he accepted a job as police chief. Through out his 30 plus years of experience - a lot has changed.

"Those of us that came up through the ranks years ago, didn't realize the use of computers would be as wide spread as it is today," said Wadding.

He says technology has changed everything about law enforcement. The dashboard cameras - the car computers - ID scanners and speed detectors - everything runs from a "mother board" in the trunk of most cars. But it doesn't stop there.

"We're seeing out ability to solve crimes and resolve those issues, much better for all of us," said Wadding.

He says dna evidence is more and more available and the ability to communicate has changed significantly. Which has also changed policing strategies.

"When I first came into law enforcement, 31 years ago, they talked about community policing that was a philosophy that was coming out and how we could reach into our community. Today it's a requirement," said Wadding.

Since coming to Dubuque his unit of three community police officers has grown to 13; taking a more pro-active approach.

"We're really a part of the community in and of it's self. And we have to be, need to be," said Wadding.

After 31 years - Wadding says he couldn't be more proud of the Dubuque Police Department and the service they provide to the community.

"The response and willingness for all of us to pull together, i think has really matured over time and age," said Wadding.

Speaking of time and age - Wadding says over time he's seen more educated and unique personalities in new officers - which also means they expect more.

He tells KWWL law enforcement has quote: "a better understanding of who we are, what we're about and how we can be of help."

As for his future - he's moving to Des Moines where his wife has been appointed to serve as pastor for the Easton Place United Methodist Church.

We're told the search for Wadding's replacement won't be decided until late fall. Wadding's last day is Friday.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires
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