Age 36 | Police chief, Windsor Heights

In Windsor Heights, the police chief wears many hats.

“I will cover rollover phone calls. I have the glorious position of being the head dog catcher and head parking lot attendant, too,” said Dennis McDaniel when he took a telephone call recently from a Business Record reporter.

A quick glance at the resume will tell you that McDaniel’s life is a little more complicated than that.

McDaniel joined the Windsor Heights Police Department in 2003 and advanced through the ranks as an officer, captain, and, in 2010, chief.

He quickly set about getting the entire department involved in establishing goals and policies that would revolve around four core values of protection, service, enforcement and education.

The idea was for officers to view work in Windsor Heights as a lifetime career opportunity, not merely as a stepping stone.

“We had people interested in investing incareers here,” McDaniel said. “I wanted to get them engaged in the fundamentals of policing, and I also got them involved in goals and policy so they would become stakeholders.”

Officers helped design an honor code, and he implemented the establishment of goals for each of the department’s divisions.

McDaniel also was a force in adopting automated traffic enforcement tools, such as traffic cameras, and raised the funds to implement a canine unit.

He was chairman of the Central Iowa Traffic Safety Task Force from 2007 to 2009 and he was named chairman last year of the Polk County Law Enforcement Executives Association.

“Dennis is reliable, creative, innovative, and his attention to detail is unmatched,” former Windsor Heights City Administrator Marketa Oliver said in a letter nominating McDaniel for Forty Under 40.


Five reasons he’s a 40:

• Involved with neighborhood outreach programs such as Neighborhood Watch, National Night Out and Special Olympics Iowa.

• Taught Rape Aggression Defense to women in Greater Des Moines.

• Developed a volunteer police reserve program in Windsor Heights.

• Increased the number of traffic stops by metro police agencies while a project manager with the Central Iowa Traffic Safety Task Force to 3,707 in 2009 from 986 in 2006.

• National award winner for National Night Out in 2011.

Mentor: Marketa Oliver, Norwalk city manager

Fun fact: Keeps a “Dukes” of Hazzard trash can in his office as a reminder not to take life too seriously. A fan of the old television series, he has had the trash can since he was a boy growing up in Clinton.


Presenting the 2013 winners:

Desmund Adams, Principal, AdamsDouglas
Lindsay Alderman, Client operations manager, LightEdge Solutions Inc.
Erica Axiotis, Director of development, Mercy Foundation
Kate Banasiak, President and CEO, Diversified Management Services Inc.
Erin Beamis, Senior vice president of logistics and operations, IronWorks
Jonathan Brendemuehl, Marketing events coordinator, Bankers Trust Co.
Curtis Brown, Economic development director, city of Ankeny
Matt Connolly, President, Generation Green Builders Co.
Lawrence Cunningham, Director of business development, Catchfire Media LLC
Angela Dethlefs-Trettin, Director of community investment and initiatives, Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines
Josh Fleming, Digital strategy director, Lessing-Flynn Advertising Co.
Felix Gallagher, Principal, PharmServ Solutions
Lori Gelhaar, Director of career services/ corporate relations, Kaplan University
Tina Gray Carstensen, Marketing coordinator, Shive-Hattery Inc.
Shane Greenleaf, Vice president/commercial banker, First American Bank
Danielle Haindfield, Shareholder attorney, Ahlers & Cooney P.C.
Emily Harris, Patent attorney and shareholder at Davis Brown Law Firm
Matthew Harris, Division administrator, Iowa Arts Council, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs
Angela Hilbert, Sales and marketing director, Deerfield Retirement Community
Joey Hinke, President, Miller, Fidler & Hinke Insurance Agency Inc.
Hannah Inman, Director of communications, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Keegan Kautzky, Director of national education programs, The World Food Prize Foundationn
John Lozier, Pediatric interventional cardiologist, Pediatric Cardiology P.C.
Dennis McDaniel, Police chief, Windsor Heights
Rachel McLean, Vice president/consultant, Ruan Cos
John Mickelson, Associate managing director, The PrivateBank & Trust Co.
Keith Olson, Commercial associate, NAI Ruhl & Ruhl Commercial Co.
Matt Ostanik, President, Submittal Exchange LLC
Benjamin Page, Director, Des Moines park and recreation
Dustin Peterson, Partner, McGladrey LLP
Nick Renkoski, Director of marketing and communications, Des Moines Metro Opera
Rachel Rowley, Partner, BrownWinick PLC
John Ruan IV, Vice president, financial institutions, Bankers Trust Co.
Jennifer Soma, Business lead, IDI Actuarial and Product Development Group, Principal Financial Group Inc.
Heather Starr, Real estate agent, RE/MAX Innovations
Aimee Staudt, Director of development, Knapp Properties Inc.
Courtney Strutt Todd, Shareholder attorney, Davis Brown Law Firm
Nikki Sylverson, Event Director, Des Moines Wine Festival Foundation
Howard Tempero, Experience design strategist, Spindustry Digital
Tony Timm, Executive director, Central Iowa Shelter & Services