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Dassinger named Dickinson PD chief


Dickinson Police Capt. Dustin Dassinger will take over as chief Oct. 17, city officials announced Friday afternoon.

"Dustin is a proven commodity," said City Administrator Shawn Kessel. "I think it was the fact that he's very involved in our community, he's been in our community, he's put in his time and he deserves an opportunity to show what he can do, and hopefully continue the good work he's done as captain as chief."

Dassinger was offered the position over Muscatine Iowa Police Lt. Jeff Jirak.

"I am honored and humbled to be selected to lead the Dickinson Police Department as its new chief," Dassinger stated in a press release. "Being born and raised in this area, it was a dream of mine for a long time to serve the citizens of Dickinson as a police chief."

Kessel said Dassinger's employment with DPD weighed heavily on the decision to promote him to chief.

"He's somebody that we know," Kessel said. "The feedback that I received from numerous people based on the public input meeting that we had was we have a strong internal candidate, why would you go outside? That was pretty consistent, that message."

A third candidate, former Goodyear, Ariz., Police Department Commander Ralph McLaughlin, was taken out of the race following a background check. City officials discovered he was part of an investigation into an alleged hit-and-run death by a Goodyear police officer.

Dassinger replaces retired chief, Chuck Rummel.

"I am committed to maintaining the department's professionalism and reputation, and will work hard to improve upon our solid foundation and community partnerships in these times of community growth," Dassinger stated in the release.

The open interview process included obtaining input from the police department staff, stakeholder groups, such as the North Dakota Highway Patrol, Stark County Sheriff, Southwest Multicounty Correctional Center, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigations, and from members of the public.

"I'm very pleased that Mr. Dassinger is the successful candidate," Mayor Dennis Johnson stated in the release. "We had two credible candidates. Dustin has done a great job as captain the last year and a half and deserves the opportunity."

Dassinger's promotion leaves a vacant captain position at DPD.

"If we follow past practice, that certainly will be an internal hire, but I'd like to visit with Chief Dassinger before we make any final decision," Kessel said. "Once we get things settled down a little bit and Dustin's able to assimilate a little bit to the police chief's role, then we'll talk about how to fill the Captain's position. I don't anticipate we'll do that for at least a few weeks, if not a month or so."

Attempts to reach Dassinger and Jirak Friday afternoon were unsuccessful.