Jeff council hires female police officer, park and rec director

Ashley Wilson

The Jefferson police department has a female patrol officer. Ashley Wilson started work at 6 am this morning, Aug. 14, after the Jefferson city council approved her hiring at its Aug. 13 meeting.

This is Wilson’s first job in law enforcement, although she grew up hearing conversations about police work as her father was the Hardin County attorney. Her most recent employment was with the Postal Service as a clerk.

She will attend the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in January.

She is a graduate of Manson Northwest-Webster High School. She and her husband Sean have lived in Jefferson almost 10 years and have two young daughters. Her hobby is competitive body building.

“I’m very excited to be an officer for Jefferson,” she said when police chief Clouse introduced her to the council.

An important element she will add to the department is having a female to do searches of females, she said.

Her starting wage is an annual salary of $42,554.

Dennis Hammen

The council also approved hiring Dennis Hammen of Farnhamville as park and recreation director. Steve Haupert, chair of the park and recreation commission, introduced Hammen. “He’s a good leader and we’re happy to have him on board,” Haupert said.

Hammen retired from Prairie Valley Schools as grade 7-12 principal in 2014. He sold insurance for a year and now works for Landus Cooperative. He said he’s excited to get back to working with young people and managing the staff, “which will work toward the betterment of the community.”

His start date is tentatively set for Aug. 20. His starting annual salary will be $52,000.
Park and recreation director Vicky Lautner is retiring in early October.

Hiring an assistant park and recreation director was also on the agenda; that item was put “on hold,” per mayor Craig Berry.

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