After getting scrutinized by the public for the past several months, Atalissa Police Chief Matt Shook delivered on his threats several weeks ago at a Atalissa City Council meeting, resigning his post after just four months in the position.
Shook, the focus of social media posts via “community concerns” since his hiring from a part-time position with the city to the police chief position, resigned his position as of June 1, it was announced Monday evening, June 14, at the regular monthly Atalissa City Council meeting.
Mayor Bob Schmidt made the announcement as the city began a process to hire a new police chief by July 7, setting up a job description to begin the recruiting process. The city is down to one part-time police officer, Takoda ‘Cody’ Aplara, who has been with the city for over two years, hired by former chief Matt Bower.
“He just got tired of having to deal with it,” the mayor said of Shook’s resignation. Shook had expressed at the April meeting of the council that he was criticized by residents about the way he was policing, his hours, maintenance of city vehicles and more, calling his situation with the community a “death spiral.”
Despite the resignation, local resident Karen Feddersen asked the council for information requests regarding the work of the chief in the community, asking about police uniforms, the laptop used by the department, the cancelling of a credit card, changing of locks and questioning who paid for $750 in training toward certification of the officer through the state.
Through the public comment portion of the meeting, she demanded the next chief be a “certified” police officer and questioned if the city knew Shook did not have certification in the state, mayor Schmidt replying that he received false information.
Schmidt also said he is investigating the possibility of utilizing the Muscatine County Sheriff’s Department to contract with the city for police services, noting he has had conversations with Sheriff Quinn Riess.
“What would they charge?” he questioned, noting although he’s not in favor of farming out police services for the community, “I am open to the idea,” and said it makes sense to look into the possibility of the county providing hours and services for the community.
“What are our options,” Schmidt said. “If that’s an option, we surely want to look at it. How would it work?”
The mayor said he’s “heard lots of numbers” but doesn’t have a solid cost of what the county would charge to provide the service.