The interim chief of the Bellevue Police Department has been tapped to fill the spot permanently.
Mark Elbert, 44, brings to the job experience with the department's budget and an interest in community policing.
“I'm all about serving our folks — serving the general public,” said Elbert, a 17-year veteran of the department. “That's a big deal.”
Since he took the interim job, Elbert has cut $350,000 from a $14 million budget, earning public praise from City Administrator Dan Berlowitz.
Berlowitz, who announced Elbert's appointment Monday, said Elbert fits in well with the city's management team.
“Chief Elbert has impressed me with his leadership and initiative while serving as interim police chief,” Berlowitz said in a statement.
Elbert said his next major task will be to oversee the department's move into a new building early next year. The department has outgrown its current headquarters so much that officers are working out of about eight other buildings, he said.
Elbert has been the interim chief since June, when longtime Chief John Stacey resigned amid a series of controversies.
Elbert said he believes officers already have begun to repair the department's image in the community.
“You see it in deed — how we do things,” he said. “I'm proud of our people.”
Elbert joined the Bellevue department in January 1996 after spending a little more than two years as an officer with the Fremont Police Department. He is a graduate of the University of South Dakota and Bellevue University.
The northwest Iowa native also has worked in criminal investigations, professional standards, field training and as operations commander of the South Metro SWAT team.
Elbert was the department's Officer of the Year for 1997 and attended a weeklong training session in homeland security and counterterrorism held in Israel in 2009.
The other two finalists were Omaha Police Department retirees: Fort Dodge, Iowa, Chief Tim Carmody and Mark Sundermeier, who works at a security firm.
The World-Herald News Service contributed to this report.
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