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UI Police employee will take leave

BY MEGAN SANCHEZ | SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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After 14 years with the University of Iowa police, one official is taking a temporary absence — leaving a hole to be filled by two current employees.

UI police crime-prevention specialist Alton Poole has worked for more than a decade helping to identify crime trends and work on innovative ways to stop them by engaging the public.

Although there is one position dedicated to crime prevention at the UI, Poole, who also serves as a UI patrol officer, will be replaced by Officer Oleta McKenna and Kenneth Friedhoff, supervisor of the security division.

Poole stressed the need for his duties to be continued despite his absence.

“Police work is dynamic in and of itself,” he said. “It’s more than just an officer coming in, putting on a uniform, and going out, driving around the streets. We have to stay in tune with the community.”

Poole is the only person on staff with all of the training necessary for the job. McKenna and Friedhoff will combine their different training backgrounds to fill the position together.

McKenna has law-enforcement experience and will work in Poole’s position full-time. Friedhoff has physical security training and knowledge of the training necessary to do security surveys.

He will continue to address his current responsibilities while stepping in when necessary to do the surveys.

“[Friedhoff and I] have already started to forge a partnership, so it was only fitting that he continue to work with that,” Poole said.

William Searls, an associate director of the department, said the replacement of Poole will not affect the budget in any way. McKenna and Friedhoff will continue to receive their current salaries.

“He is on a temporary [absence],” he said. “We are not going to replace him. We are just temporarily replacing with people we already have.”

Friedhoff said McKenna and he wanted to step up to the plate.

“Oleta and I have volunteered to do more for the same amount of money,” he said.

McKenna said she is looking forward to taking on her new role.

“In law enforcement, we tend to be a little more reactive than preventative,” she said. “This is a great opportunity. I’ll get to be a part of prevention at the university.”

Poole said he has enjoyed his experience at the UI and does plan to return. He plans to keep connected with his colleagues through phone and email while he is away.

“I have to say it’s been a really good experience,” he said. “I get a fulfillment in doing my job.”

Searls said Poole will be missed.

“He is a valuable asset to the department,” he said. “If nothing else, we help each other make it through days that are rough. He is absolutely wonderful to work with.”


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