MEET POLICE CHIEF MITCH SEITZ

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Elkader’s new police chief Mitch Seitz spent time last week getting to know some of the town’s youngest residents.

By Pat McTaggart

Freelance Writer

 

Mitch Seitz, who was hired last month as Elkader’s new police chief, is now on the job. Seitz assumed his new duties April 17.

Born in West Union, Seitz currently lives in Postville with his wife, Brittni, and the couple’s nine-year-old son, Carter. The family plans to move to Elkader soon.

“We are already looking at some houses in town,” he said.

Before taking his current position, Seitz was a police officer in Postville 10 years.  He worked in Lansing and New Albin for two or three years prior to that.  

“Working in Postville was a good experience,” he said.  “It gave me the opportunity to deal with several situations and different ethnicities.”

Seitz heard about the Elkader opening through his wife, the former Brittni Larson, who grew up in Elkader.  She is the daughter of Joey Larson and Paula Ehrhardt.

“I thought about it long and hard before I applied for the position,” Mitch said.  “In the end, I decided that Elkader would benefit from my knowledge.  I’ve been to Elkader many times and have attended a lot of sports events here, watching Brittni’s brother, Derek Ehrhardt, playing. I find this community amazing, and the people are special.”

Derek, who’s wrapping up his senior year at Central, has been a stand-out in several sports. 

Mitch said that he became interested in law enforcement through his older brother, who was a deputy in Fayette County.  “I got to occasionally ride along with him,” he said.  “I saw some pretty exciting things, and I got hooked.”

Seitz says that he looks forward to his new job.  “My role is to run the department as a public safety department rather than a law enforcement department,” he commented.  “I believe that we should operate as peace officers rather than law enforcement officers.  Coming from a small town helps.  I know that the mentality of a small town is different than larger communities.  We need community support because we all want to be safe, free and advance our personal lives.”

“In our approach, people will see that we care,” he continued.  “We want to get back to a community oriented police department and a problem solving department.  It’s not what you do, but why you do it.  That makes an amazing difference.  There are a lot of things that I want to do.  It’s pretty exciting.”

“We have a good working relationship with the Clayton County Sheriff’s Department, and we’re going to have a highly trained police department, not just basic training, to do our job effectively.  We will be cross-training with the fire department, EMS and Emergency Management.”

“I would like to thank the city for a smooth transition,” he added.  “I would also like to thank Marvin Duff for his years of service and Officer Jerry Frick for all the extra time he put in as the city’s only police officer during the past weeks, as well as the Sheriff’s Department for doing some extra patrolling to help Jerry out. I am really excited about this opportunity.” 

 
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