New police chief at the helm in Manson

Frick brings 25 years experience to job

-Messenger photo by Peter Kaspari Manson Police Chief Gerald Frick makes a call on his radio in his patrol vehicle.

MANSON — Gerald Frick has taken over leadership of the Manson Police Department as its chief of police, but this isn’t his first time serving as a law enforcement officer.

In fact, Frick said he’s been working in law enforcement for 25 years, graduating from the law enforcement academy in Cedar Rapids in 1991.

Prior to becoming the Manson police chief, Frick served as an officer in Elkader. Before that, he was deployed to the United States Air Force Reserve Center for four years. His other experience in law enforcement includes serving in Webster City, Fayette County, Oelwein, Strawberry Point, Dyersville, and Leon, with Frick starting his career as a part-time dispatcher and part-time police officer in Cascade.

“This is as far west as I’ve gone,” Frick said of his new job in Manson.

He said the two jobs he has never had in law enforcement are as a police chief and a K9 handler, and he applied for both jobs.

While both were offered to him, ultimately Frick decided to take the job as Manson police chief, where he succeeds longtime Chief Tom Ritts, who retired earlier this summer.

Frick said he wanted to be in charge of a department.

“It’s always nice being an officer, but when you have somebody else’s way of doing things, it’s always nice to try something on your own,” he said.

Though he’s only been chief for a week, Frick said he’s been enjoying his time in Manson.

“I haven’t had any problems with anybody,” he said. “I went around and met everybody in the community, all the business owners. They were very receptive as to me telling them my plans and talking to the people that are walking on the streets. They seem to be a nice little community.”

Frick said he has several plans for Manson. One of his first changes will be having the night-time officers perform building checks at the area businesses.

He also wants to get more involved with the children of Manson.

“We’ll be doing some kid programs, like bicycle safety programs, interacting with children going to schools,” he said. “A couple of preschools had an interest in officers coming in and reading books to preschoolers. Shopping with cops, interacting with people that way.”

Frick said he wants to have a focus on community policing and interacting with the public.

“You can always sit in your patrol car, but if you get out and actually interact with the public, they get to see a different side of you and know that you’re approachable, and they’ll come up and talk to you,” he said.

Frick said he enjoys working with children.

“Here, they come running up and want to talk to you,” he said. “I like working with children, so that’s kind of nice.”

In fact, Frick said he’s actually working on a degree in early childhood education. He said when he retires from law enforcement, he wants to be a preschool teacher.