Police Chief Fitzgerald Resigns Waterloo Police Department

The City of Waterloo, Iowa has accepted the resignation of Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald effective Friday, August 19, 2022.  Dr. Fitzgerald has accepted a position in Colorado.  Assistant Chief Joe Leibold will assume the role of Interim Chief of Police.  A new candidate search will begin immediately.

“The competition for highly educated and experienced professionals keeps getting tougher, especially when competing against larger markets for skilled talent,” says Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart.  “In this economy, everyone must do what is right for their family.  We wish the Fitzgerald family well and thank Joel for all he accomplished in his time here.”

In Fitzgerald’s two years serving the City of Waterloo he guided the department through a national call for police reform and the Covid 19 pandemic. He instituted many changes to the operations of the Waterloo Police Department, most notably:

  • Cutting edge technology upgrades to police equipment and software
  • Elevate Mental Health partnership – embedding social workers to assist with mental health cases
  • Critical Incident Trained Officers (CIT)
  • Decrease in civil litigation against Waterloo PD
  • Hart continues, “From the moment Joel arrived on the evening of the George Floyd protests, he began instituting much needed changes within our police force.  These changes were not always popular. Change rarely is, but we have seen the positive impact these changes have made both internally and in our neighborhoods through increased community engagement.  The Waterloo PD should be very proud of their accomplishments over the last two years.”

    “Waterloo PD has put great people in leadership positions and has great veteran and young officers working diligently to provide for community safety.   With this team in place, we are well positioned to serve the changing needs of our community, “says Assistant Chief Leibold.  “I am honored to serve this department in this capacity and look forward to building even greater bonds with the residents of Waterloo.”

    About Joe Leibold

    Assistant Chief Joe Leibold has lived in Waterloo for most of his adult life and a member of the Waterloo Police Department since 1990.    He has had the privilege of serving the citizens and the department in a multitude of capacities over his 30 plus year career.    In 2021 Chief Fitzgerald appointed him to Assistant Chief.

    Assistant Chief Leibold is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, and FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development School along with countless other educational, law enforcement training and seminars.