Maryland native chosen as next Cedar Rapids police chief

35 people had applied for job; Jerman will be appointed Tuesday

Jeff Raasch
Published: September 17 2012 | 6:01 pm - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 12:35 am in
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A Maryland native will be appointed Tuesday as the next Cedar Rapids police chief.

Wayne Jerman, 55, assistant chief of police for the Montgomery County Police Department in Rockville, Md., has been picked to replace Greg Graham, the city announced Monday afternoon. Jerman was selected over Cedar Rapids police Capt. Steve O’Konek and Charlotte-Mecklenberg (N.C.) police Capt. Michael Smathers.

City Manager Jeff Pomeranz will ask for the city council’s consent to make the hiring official during a special meeting Tuesday afternoon. Jerman will start in Cedar Rapids on Oct. 29 at a salary of $133,702, plus a standard benefits package.

“We chose to hire Wayne Jerman because of his extensive background, education and experience in law enforcement,” Pomeranz said in a statement. “He is well-respected in his community and will bring a wealth of knowledge to the Cedar Rapids Police Department.”

Jerman has spent his entire law enforcement career at the Montgomery, Md. Police Department, starting as a patrol officer in 1979 and advancing to assistant chief in 2007. The department has 1,200 sworn officers and serves 1 million residents.

According to his biography, Jerman spent time in divisions for training and education, police records and animal services. In 1994, he assisted in launching a Police Community Action Team, a unit that utilized community policing concepts while focusing on “at risk” neighborhoods.

Jerman holds a master’s of business administration degree from Frostburg State University in Frostburg, Md., and a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement from the University of Maryland. He is a graduate of the 236th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

Thirty-five people applied for the position, including four internal commanders. The city’s civil service commission trimmed the pool to seven and ranked Jerman the top candidate. Community members mingled with the final seven candidates during an open house in late August. Interviews involved a committee of Cedar Rapids police commanders and staff, city department directors, area public safety officials and other community leaders.

Pomeranz visited Jerman’s and Smathers’ police departments and communities earlier this month, along Sandi Fowler, assistant to the city manager, and Mikel Wombacher, a Cedar Rapids police officer and president of the Local 238 Union. Interviews were conducted with the candidates’ supervisors, co-workers and agency partners, along with other community members.

“We are pleased with the strong pool of candidates attracted to the position, representing high-quality departments and individuals with a wealth of experience and education,” Pomeranz said in a statement.

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