Chief of Police Rob Burdess has worked in law enforcement since 1997 and has been with the Newton Police Department since 1999, serving as a patrol officer, detective, and patrol Lieutenant. Chief Burdess has served as President of the Iowa State Police Association, Newton Police Association, Rabiner Treatment Center and is also a member of the Young Professionals of Jasper County and Newton Rotary Club. Chief Burdess is married with two young children and has enjoyed living in Newton for over 17 years.

Q: What do you think people should get to know about Newton?

A: I have been impressed by the resilience of our community members and the passion that many of them have for Newton. I believe our biggest asset is the dedicated community members that see challenges as opportunities and come together time-after-time to make Newton a great place to live and work.

Q: What’s an upcoming project you are excited to work on?

A: In September, Newton was selected as one of 5 communities in Iowa to receive a technical assistance grant for the development of a community wide substance abuse coalition in partnership with the Iowa National Guard Midwest Counter Drug Training Center and the Alliance of Coalitions for Change (AC4C) organization. The program will bring stakeholders and community members together to address this very serious issue and is vital to helping those in need as well as the safety and livability of our community members.

Q: What’s an accomplishment you’re proud of?

A: I am very proud to have been chosen as the leader of the Newton Police Department. I have had the opportunity to travel around the world and train with numerous law enforcement departments and I have yet to come across a more dedicated and professional group of men and women than we have right here in Newton. There is not a day that goes by that I am not in awe over the high level of professionalism that our Newton Police Officers provide and more than anything I am proud of their service and commitment to making Newton a safer place to live.

Q: How is your department helping Newton prepare for the future?

A: The department has been very intentional in the development of community policing programs and partnerships. The development of the narcotics K9 program, police motorcycle program, Jasper County Crime Stoppers Program and the upcoming development of a substance abuse coalition are great examples of the police department being pro-active in preparing for Newton’s future challenges.

Q: What is Newton’s best-kept secret?

A: Newton is unique in that we are host to a vast number of community events each year and we should be really proud of Newton Fest, 4th of July festivities, Bowlful of Blues, Thanks With Franks, Thunder Nites, Iowa Speedway races and many other events that provide an opportunity for our citizens and visitors to enjoy all that our community has to offer.