Finding the right fit: The quest to find Iowa State’s next police chief


“Coffee with Cops” was created to start communication with the community in a positive environment. The event was built on the idea of small town where everyone meets in a coffee shop. Instead of officers meeting the community at traffic stops or during stressful events, the hope with “Coffee with Cops” is that it will bring positive dialogue between the community and police officers. 

Andrea Poppinga

Charles Cychosz, chief of police for the Ames Police Department has a vision for Iowa State’s police chief: engaging, approachable forward-thinking and committed to a safe campus and community. 

Cychosz explained how the job of Chief requires many different roles and dimensions.

When asked what type of tasks the job requires on a daily basis, Cychosz said, “Preventing crime, supporting crime victims, ensuring that our staff are trained, equipped and available when the community needs them are all important parts of the mission that have everyday components.”

He went on to say that this position is unique in the aspect that it is dealing with faculty, staff and students, and the person who fills the position needs to be able to build and establish connections with each group.

Cychosz said he is very excited to welcome in a new chief.

“I think that person will be very impressed by the warm welcome and connectedness that comes with being a part of Iowa State University … and I hope they are impressed by the partnership with the City of Ames,” Cychosz said.

Interim ISU Police Chief Aaron Delashmutt, who is one of four candidates in the running for the position, has already dealt with several unique events as interim chief, one being the presidential election.

With all of the large group events, such as protesting and demonstrating, that went on campus-wide, Delashmutt said, “It was our job to make sure that people could express their views in a safe environment free from harassment, discrimination, retaliation or other violence.” 

Delashmutt said one of his strongest attributes for this position is “My commitment to Iowa State University and the city of Ames.” He went on to explain, “I also think that I am a genuine person — what you see is what you get.”

He has been in law enforcement for over 20 years, and that has taught him to always expect the unexpected.

“I knew there would be struggles, I knew I would have to prove myself, and I believe I have accomplished that,” he said. 

Through all of his success in law enforcement, Delashmutt believes the right person for the role is “a person who listens to the needs of the university and has compassion for this job — that person is me. I want to make a difference, and I think I can do so as Iowa State University’s next chief of police.”