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Two vie for Dickinson chief position

Dustin Dassinger, a candidate for police chief1 / 2
Jeff Jirak, a candidate for police chief2 / 2

Two candidates seek to fill the vacant position of Dickinson Police chief, a role left open following the retirement the department's former chief, Chuck Rummel.

Vying for the position are Jeff Jirak, Muscatine, Iowa, and Dustin Dassinger, Dickinson. Ralph McLaughlin was recently dropped as a candidate following the results of his background check.

Candidates will be in Dickinson Tuesday and Wednesday for meetings, interviews, and a public reception from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Badlands Activities Center.

Learn more about the candidates below:

Lt. Jeff Jirak

Hometown: Cresco, Iowa

Rank: Police Lieutenant

Department: Muscatine Iowa P.D.

Lt. Jeff Jirak took his first policing job at the Muscatine Iowa Police Department in 1992, where he continues to be employed.

"My personal philosophy on policing fits well with what Dickinson has for its future -- a lot of forward thinking, a lot of ideals where the community comes first," Jirak said. "And what I'm looking for as well is utilizing all of the education, training (and) experience that I posses and putting it to use in a community like Dickinson as the chief executive officer of the police department."

He said his attributes go "hand in hand" with Dickinson.

His focus would be on the community if he was hired as Dickinson Police chief.

"What is it that I can promote within the department to provide quality of life for the community, for the citizens of the community and for them also to enjoy economic prosperity because we're providing them that quality of life," Jirak said. "That is my philosophy and that's what I would bring there to Dickinson."

He has also applied for police chief position in Iowa and is awaiting results there as well.

"Whoever would be the first place that offers employment that is equitable, I am very loyal to that place," Jirak said.

He said the area is similar to Iowa communities and he and his wife would be comfortable in Dickinson, he said.

"The environment that Dickinson offers is much the same as what Iowa offers, so I really believe that we're going to be right at home with being in that area," Jirak said. "We look forward to meeting people, having a tour and experiencing the city and hoping that sometime in the very near future that we can call it our home."

Capt. Dustin Dassinger

Hometown: South Heart

Rank: Police Captain

Department: Dickinson Police Department

Capt. Dustin Dassinger has lived in North Dakota his entire life and has been employed at the Dickinson Police Department since 1999.

"I believe that right now, our city needs to have someone that's very familiar in what's taking place with the growth of our city, the challenges that our city is going to be experiencing in the future and especially of law enforcement and I feel that right now, I'm the person for the position," Dassinger said.

He wants to be Dickinson Police chief because hehas grown up in the area and has been serving the community.

"Growing up in this area, I definitely have the benefit of knowing what's expected in law enforcement," Dassinger said. "As our community grows its very important that the department has a strong working relationship with our community and I'm very community orientated."

Should he become police chief, he would focus on four goals -- enhancing traffic safety, enhancing agency effectiveness and efficiency, strengthening community bonds as well as attracting and retaining quality staff.

"One of my policing philosophies is to weigh heavy on developing and reinventing community-orientated programs, such as neighborhood watch, badlands crime stoppers and other community programs, such as the citizens police academy," he said.

Dassinger said he is not applying for any other positions.

"I have the education, experience and leadership abilities and the support of departmental members and the community to get the job done," Dassinger said.