Today is Fort Dodge Police Chief Tim Carmody's last day on the job. On Sept. 2, he will become the police chief in Council Bluffs, a community of about 62,000 people with nearly three times as many officers as the department he has led since Sept. 6, 2010.
"In a sense, it's a larger responsibility, but the role is the same," Carmody said. "My responsibility is to be the leader, to be the face of the department, to guide it, to help it, to set clear expectations, to help them see what's possible."
That, local colleagues say, is exactly what he has done in Fort Dodge.
"It was a great experience working with him," said Assistant Police Chief Kevin Doty, who will be named acting police chief at Monday's City Council meeting. "He sees the big picture, he sees things long term, and that was good for us."
The greatest lesson Doty said he learned from Carmody was to be more analytical in addressing problems and learning to find the best solution, and that was a lesson shared with the entire department.
When Carmody first arrived, Doty said, the department really didn't know what his leadership vision would be. As it turned out, Doty said, "what he saw and what we saw that needed to happen were really pretty close."
For example, there had been conversation about returning to the black-and-white squad cars, about starting a Citizen's Academy and expanding the school safety program, but Carmody was a catalyst who helped bring about the changes, Doty said.
Carmody, who had previously been a captain with the Omaha Police Department, "brought a lot of knowledge with him from a larger department that he put into action here," said Webster County Sheriff Jim Stubbs. "It was good for the community as a whole and the police department.
"Some of the changes that Tim brought with him will stay here. Sometimes, it just takes someone from the outside to make suggestions. He got the ball rolling, and the community has come together as a whole - not just because of law enforcement- but things are progressing and he played a role in that."
Stubbs also cited the level of cooperation that has developed between his department and the Police Department, which he said is as high as it's ever been in Stubbs' 27 years of law enforcement experience.
John Bruner worked with Carmody through Webster County Crime Stoppers, the Civil Service Commission and Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way.
When Carmody would appear before the Civil Service Commission, "he was always very, very well prepared," Bruner said. "He got things done because he was prepared and, consequently, he was very persuasive."
Bruner, who was a founding member of Crime Stoppers, has worked with members of the FDPD throughout the years. One of them told Bruner he was ready to retire, but changed his mind after he met Carmody.
Bruner said the officer told him "something very special is going on with this new leader, and I want to stay around and be a part of it."
"It didn't take long to read (Carmody)," Bruner said. "He blew the door open. He wasn't just a professional of the highest quality, he was a delightful person to work with. We're going to miss him."