Letter to the Editor: In support of IC Interim Police Chief Kelsay

Iowa City
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By Mary Gravitt, Iowa City

I am perfectly satisfied with Interim Chief Troy Kelsay being Iowa City’s permanent police chief. The reason for this he is well educated and experienced: Kelsay was the ICPD’s captain of field operations — he has been with the ICPD since 1991. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001, to lieutenant in 2014 and to captain last June. Kelsay has a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Iowa and graduated from the FBI National Academy in 2012.

Retired Captain Wyss reminds us that Iowa City has faced its own form of police brutality with the Eric Shaw Case. A most difficult cases, in which Eric Shaw was shot and killed by an Iowa City police officer on August 30, 1996, inside his art studio on South Gilbert Street.

Captain Wyss stated that “Probably the most difficult time for me was the Eric Shaw incident, it was very difficult for a variety of reasons,” he said. “That was a very difficult time for law enforcement in general.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Shaw case, Shaw was a young white man working in his father’s business when he was shot by a lone policeman looking to make a name for himself. Somehow the conclusion was that Shaw’s death was his own fault because he was on the telephone in the dark and the phone looked like a gun. Iowa City then, and not even now is not a hotbed for crime. That was the problem. Too many policemen bored with no action in their precincts.

We in America are at a critical and “very difficult time for law enforcement” nation-wide when police brutality is now part of the social media, and we must have a man in place with the experience and education to not only to deal with the crisis, but also understand it.

From his experience on the job here in Iowa City, and his education, it seems that Chief Troy Kelsay may be our man.

Mary Gravitt
Iowa City, IA

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