Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert Retires After 9 Years of Service

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert is retiring after a 9-year tenure, marking the end of a 30-year law enforcement career. During his time as chief, Wingert implemented body cameras and navigated challenging times, including the George Floyd protests.

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Mahnoor Jehangir
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Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert Retires After 9 Years of Service

Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert Retires After 9 Years of Service

Des Moinespolice, chiefDana Wingert is retiring after a remarkable 9-year tenure being the city's top law enforcement officer. City Manager Scott Sanders confirmed Wingert's retirement on Thursday, marking the end of a distinguished law enforcement career spanning over three decades.

Why this matters: The retirement of a high-ranking law enforcement official like Chief Wingert can have significant implications for community policing and public safety strategies in Des Moines and beyond. His legacy in implementingbody cameras and navigating challenging times will be closely watched by other law enforcement agencies seeking to improve their relationships with the communities they serve.

During his time as chief, Wingert implemented significant changes and initiatives that have shaped the Des Moines Police Department. In 2017, he introduced body-worn cameras for police officers, a move aimed at increasing transparency and accountability within the department.

Wingert also navigated the department through challenging times, particularly during the George Floyd protests that swept the nation. The protests in Des Moines were marked by criticism of the police response and arrests of protesters, testing the department's ability to balance public safety with the right to peaceful assembly.

Wingert's law enforcement career began in 1991 when he joined the Des Moines Police Department as a 22-year-old officer. His wife had filled out an application on his behalf, setting him on a path that would lead to a remarkable career. "It wasn't anything that was on the radar,"Wingert recalled. "It was a forward-thinking wife."

Throughout his career, Wingert demonstrated exceptional leadership and a commitment to serving the community. He quickly rose through the ranks, becoming a senior police officer in just three years, a sergeant in nine, and achieving the rank of captain by the age of 36. Wingert also pursued higher education, earning a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Grand View University.

When Wingert was appointed as chief in 2015, city leaders praised his ability to build strong connections with the community. "The existing relationships with the community and (his) comfort level with the community was a clear message I got," City Manager Scott Sanders noted at the time. "With his established relationships, he'll be able to hit the ground running."

Under Wingert's leadership, the Des Moines Police Department, which serves a population of over 211,000 people, has grown to become the largest police department in the state of Iowa. The department currently has 379 sworn officers and 98 civilian employees, reflecting the city's commitment to public safety.

As Chief Dana Wingert prepares to retire, his legacy will be remembered as one of leadership, innovation, and dedication to the Des Moines community. His efforts to introduce body cameras, weather challenging times, and build strong police, chief relationships have left a lasting impact on the department and the city he served for over three decades.

Key Takeaways

  • Des Moines Police Chief Dana Wingert is retiring after 9 years as the city's top law enforcement officer.
  • Wingert introduced body-worn cameras for police officers in 2017 to increase transparency and accountability.
  • He navigated the department through challenging times, including the George Floyd protests.
  • Wingert's law enforcement career spanned over 3 decades, starting as a 22-year-old officer in 1991.
  • He leaves a legacy of leadership, innovation, and dedication to the Des Moines community.