A vital position that bridges the gap between the community and law enforcement is changing hands.

After four years of serving as the Community Relations Officer for the Iowa City Police Department, Ashten Hayes will be moving back to Patrol.

During her time in the position, Officer Hayes created many connections by attending community events and responding to citizen concerns. She says it's those relationships that she’ll miss most.

“The people I connected with and the people that connected with me. That’s probably the biggest part," says Hayes, who had worked for the ICPD for seven years. "I’m going to miss a lot of different aspects but I’m really looking forward to having a change. Taking those skills that I used in Community Relations and bringing them back to Patrol.”

Along with her patrol duties, Officer Hayes will continue serving as an ALICE instructor, Project Lifesaver instructor, and Honor Guard Commander.

Beginning January 13, 2019, Officer Travis Neeld will be taking over the position of Community Relations Officer.

Officer Neeld has been a member of the police department for 11 years, during which he's served as a member of the Special Response Team and one of the department’s K9 handlers.  He’s looking to build on the groundwork that Officer Hayes has laid over the past several years.

“I want to pick up the ball and keep us heading in the same direction that she’s lead us off on. Then hopefully my difference in skills will allow me to enhance a couple of things and continue to to keep us going in the right direction and building those relationships,” say Officer Neeld.

If you’d like to connect with Officer Neeld regarding any questions or concerns, please email him at travis-neeld@iowa-city.org.

Officer Neeld and Officer Hayes address a group from Systems Unlimited, Inc. during a tour of the police station.

Date of publication

Monday, January 13, 2020