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City confirms police chief’s departure

NORTH LIBERTY– The City of North Liberty no longer has a police chief, but nobody is saying why, or how the vacancy occurred.
On Monday, Feb. 4, the North Liberty Leader received information that North Liberty Police Chief Jim Warkentin had resigned his position with the city. However officials in the city’s administrative offices declined to say whether or not a resignation was tendered.
“He is no longer an employee with city, and (North Liberty Assistant Police Chief) Diane Venenga is acting as police chief. That is all I will say at this point,” said North Liberty City Administrator Ryan Heiar. City Attorney Scott Peterson offered identical remarks.
Warkentin was North Liberty’s first-ever police officer. Hired as a police sergeant in 1999, Warkentin had previously served as a patrol officer in Cedar Falls for nearly eight years before coming to North Liberty. Venega was hired four months later, and Warkentin and Venenga served as the city’s two-officer police department until the department expanded to include part-time officer Tim Gavin in 2001.
The North Liberty Police Department currently has 17 officers on staff.
Warkentin could not be reached for comment prior to this publication’s deadline.