Meet the Chief


Chief Dr. Joel Fitzgerald

Started June 1, 2020

Chief Joel

  • Read his Bio here.
  • Contact the Chief at policechief@waterloopolice.com
  • Chief  Fitzgerald's Year 1 Accomplishments:
    • Overhauled the training program adding diversity, de-escalation, cultural awareness, and implicit bias based training through the procuring of private donor funds.
    • Aligned critical decision-making models with sanctity of human life standards in use of force policies.
    • Cultivated CoP deployment by creating beat-based | accountable policing strategy.
    • Secured, obtained financing, and implemented policy management, use of force-early intervention, quartermaster, and internal affairs RMS software packages.
    • Streamlined and simplified the Internal Affairs Complaint process.
    • Designated liaison officers to: Individual Neighborhoods, Homeless Persons, LGBTQIA+, & Main St. 
    • Diversified recruiting strategies, i.e., Police Explorer Post in Waterloo Schools Fall 2021, Changed Civil Service rules to augment scoring bones for Waterloo Residents, etc.
    • Provided WPD pre-test training for candidates for hire
    • Began working for the city before officially on payroll to defuse Geo. Floyd protests during the height of COVID-19
    • Authored and executed contemporary police reforms in Use of Force, Biased Based Policing, LGBTQIA+ interactions, Racial Profiling, and policies critical to ensuring social justice and racial equity.
    • Represents the City of Waterloo on the Executive Board of FBI-LEEDA as Vice President (elected by his peers)
    • Published the first Annual Use of Force Report/Racial Profiling Report/ Internal Affairs Annual Report  
    • Waterloo Police Department Yearly IBR Statistics - 01/01/20 - 12/31/20- Group A Offenses: -8.08% and Group B Offenses: -8.75%
    • Since 6/2020: No Police Related lawsuits under his tenure
    • Adopted a new ethics policy
    • Ended policy of allowing police officers to select the “area of the city” they work
    • Entered into a potentially revenue-generating lease program that will replace 100% of an aging and dilapidated unmarked vehicle fleet.
    • Leveraged ATS revenue to upgrade and replace all in-car video, body worn camera and cloud video retention software and hardware.
    • Brokered a unique collaboration with private mental health providers to deploy a 24/7 CIT response.
    • Initiated Mandatory monthly NPO Community Policing Reports
    • Initiated Mandatory monthly IAD Case Updates
    • Conducted a full 2020 Annual Inventory of Property/Evidence
    • Initiated Mandatory Monthly Randomized Video Audits from all supervisors
    • Enacted a Neighborhood Policing (NPO) Redesign
    • Overhauled policies and procedures
    • Created a new Emergency Notifications Protocol internally/externally (Atlas One)
    • Created a Community Resource Guide (on MDTs) for all sworn officers
    • Reassigned Watch Commanders to on street duties to maximize community coverage
    • Per insurance vendor and City Clerk: 6 month changes led to a lower of insurance rate
    • VCAT Unit moved to Detectives and sworn in as US Marshal TFOs
    • Negotiated a $250k Racial Equity Fund (Donation)
    • Created a diverse and inclusive Police Chief’s Advisory Board
    • Renewed SRO contract with Waterloo Schools
    • Renewed contracts with ATF, FBI, etc.
    • Committed to a Mission, Vison, and Guiding Principles based on Procedural Justice and Sanctity of Life
    • Created an online commend or complain link for the WPD website and provided all officers with cards and QR codes
    • Instituted Training for all Supervisors in an online 40hr-FBI-Supervisory Accountability
    • Conducted numerous Meet the Chief events
    • CIT Training for all Officers-with a large portion of the department now possessing an advanced additional 40 hr. block of training
    • Created at Downtown Security Plan
    • Authored a 60+ page 5 year-Strategic Plan (awaiting edits/publishing)
    • Partnered with the US State Dept. RA-Republic of Congo to discuss Policing Reforms in the U.S. (2021)
    • Sits on the Goodwill Industries of N/E Iowa Executive Board of Directors, IOWA-JTTF Board
    • Renovated the Police Crime Lab
    • Worked to increase the number and cooperative use of city wide camera systems as a Smart Cities initiative
    • Accelerated the NIBIN shell-casing entry process
    • Resolved Incident-Based (CAD) reporting issues in call type classification and reporting