MUSCATINE, Iowa–Following current Muscatine Police Chief Brett Talkington’s announcement that he will retire in March 2023, the Muscatine Police Department started it search for his replacement, seriously considering six candidates, including ones from both Muscatine and across the country. Nov. 23, the department announced they selected current Muscatine Police Department Captain Anthony “Tony” Kies as the next chief, following his confirmation at the Dec. 1 Muscatine City Council meeting.
Growing up in the small town of Newell, Kies always took an interest in the police officers he saw around. He remembers, “in our community, we looked up to the police officers and I thought it looked like a fun calling.” After graduating from high school, Kies spent two years at Kirkwood Community College preparing for a career in law enforcement. He later went back to school to earn a bachelors degree from Upper Iowa University in 2018.
After working as a police officer for the City of Clarence for three years, Kies first came to the Muscatine Police Department. In his 17 years with the department, Kies has always enjoyed, “the ability to learn new things and learn about different aspects of policing,” the department has afforded him. “We’re just big enough to do a little bit of everything,” he added.
During his years with the department, Kies has taken particular pride in starting the Muscatine Special Operations Response Team or MSORT, a SWAT team that works with seven different agencies across three neighboring counties to provide support in a variety of emergency situations. Kies has also liked working with the evidence collection division of the department as well.
As Kies prepares to take on the role of police chief, he hopes to address one of the issues facing departments across the country, recruiting new officers, retaining them, and keeping morale high. Kies believes that by, “continuing to show them what Muscatine has to offer,” and explaining, “to the younger generation the security of the job,” provided by the department’s robust benefits that more young officers will come to Muscatine and stay to raise their families.
A proponent of community involvement, Kies also plans to find additional ways for Muscatine police officers to connect with the Muscatine Community, such as by attending events like the Jingle and Mingle in the winter and the Community Block party in early fall. “We’re going to focus on the community and install a sense of trust,” he emphasized. Kies would also like to restart the citizens police academy, if feasible, to educate interested citizens about different aspects of law enforcement and community safety.
An active member of the community, Kies belongs to Saints Mary and Mathias Catholic Church and works with his wife and four children to raise a small number of cattle. He looks forward to serving his community in the role of police chief for many years to come. “It’s exciting,” he said. “I know that this is going to be a fun journey, and I have many, many years ahead of me, God willing.”