Good choice for chief

Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Cassville City Council's choice to hire Dana Kammerlohr as the city's next chief of police to succeed long-time chief Lonnie McCullough is a very wise one. We are excited that Dana has accepted this new position and the challenges that go along with it.

I have had the privilege of working side by side with Dana on a number of projects. Currently, Dana and I both serve on the Barry County Drug Court Planning Team and it's an honor to work with her on this rewarding project. I have also reported on her many achievements as a member of the Barry County Sheriff's Department where she has served as DARE officer, K-9 officer and most recently lieutenant. In every instance, Dana is a professional and a team player. She is also one of those individuals who gives every task her complete attention and effort. Law enforcement is not just a job for Dana; it's an avocation. She is passionate about her commitment to the community she has pledged to protect and serve.

Over the years, as a law enforcement officer, Dana has been exposed to many things that could have caused her to become calloused and cynical, but instead, I have seen how these situations have fueled her desire to advocate change, especially in the cases where children's lives are negatively impacted. Each student who goes through the DARE program is exposed to Dana's life-changing message that their lives matter, their decisions matter and the sky's the limit when it comes to their potential. I also know that Dana loves her DARE students as if they were her own children.

Dana has big shoes to fill, but I believe she is the perfect choice to follow the positive path established by Chief McCullough. What I have always appreciated about Lonnie is his willingness to be a hands-on police chief who gets out in the community and is actively involved in whatever might be taking place in Cassville. I believe it's important for Cassville to have a police chief that is accessible and involved in the community they serve, and I have no doubt Dana will be this kind of leader.

Dana also possesses the essential qualities that will make her a successful manager and administrator over Cassville's police department. She's a hard worker and a team builder. She's also very knowledgeable of law enforcement protocol and always a professional, and I know she will expect these same qualities from her officers. Dana will lead by example and will work tirelessly to ensure that the City of Cassville is served by the best police force possible.

As you can probably tell, I'm a big Dana Kammerlohr fan and I am not alone in my opinion. Usually, the hiring of a new police chief, or any city leadership position for that matter, brings naysayers out of the woodwork. In this case, I have not heard one negative comment about the city's choice for police chief. I think Dana's reputation in the community speaks for itself. The City of Cassville and the entire community is lucky to have Dana Kammerlohr as their next police chief.

Lisa Schlichtman