Sadie Weekley named Marshalltown Police Department Employee of the Year

T-R PHOTO BY SARA JORDAN-HEINTZ - Sergeant Sadie Weekley has been named Marshalltown Police Department Employee of the Year. Weekley has been employed at the MPD for nearly 12 years. Previously, she served as the City of Toledo’s first female officer for a year and a half and also worked at the Tama County jail.

Sadie Weekley may be a petite, laid-back and friendly young woman, but she is also a tough, resourceful and well-respected sergeant at the Marshalltown Police Department.

She is the 2019 recipient of the Times-Republican’s seventh annual MPD Employee of the Year Award. She was chosen by a select committee of MPD personnel, who made its decision after receiving nominations.

A native of Dysart, growing up, Weekley had an interest in pursuing a career in law enforcement. Her dad, Steve Weekley worked as a paramedic.

“I knew growing up I wasn’t going to be someone who had a desk job,” she said. “There is something different every day when you get to work here.”

She earned her degree in Police Science from Hawkeye Community College. Weekley has been employed at the MPD for nearly 12 years. Previously, she served as the City of Toledo’s first female officer for a year and a half and also worked at the Tama County jail.

From February 2009 to April 2018 she was employed as the MPD’s sexual assault detective, investigating crimes against adults and children. In April 2018, she got promoted to sergeant where she works nights on patrol.

“I started on patrol, was a detective and now am back on patrol,” she said. “I work 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. but I like working nights.”

As a sergeant on patrol, Weekley supervises officers, does paperwork and responds to calls.

“She’s very attention to detail and has high expectations, but isn’t authoritative,” her supervisor Lt. Kiel Stevenson said.

While she enjoys being a sergeant, there are aspects of being a detective she misses.

“As a detective you work with someone on a case a bit more long-term, whether it’s a victim, witness or family member, and you get to know them. Those cases can be more challenging (than on patrol), but patrol is also rewarding. I work with a great group of people so they make my job really easy,” she said.

She said the nighttime call volume also tends to be less than what the day shift encounters.

Weekley is one of six female officers of the 42 employed at the MPD. She can remember a time when that figure was just a handful of women on the force.

“There are challenges being a female officer, but I think for the most part, we bring a lot to the table. I think sometimes our communication and listening skills can be better,” she said. “Some community members don’t respect our position sometimes. My size can be a little challenging because I am smaller and shorter.”

Drawbacks of the job can be frustrating.

“This year has been extra challenging because of the tornado we had in July (2018) and we had a lot of high profile cases here in the last six months,” she said. “Those are awful to deal with, but our community has come together for those and so has our department. We lean on each other.”

Sometimes, she said, it’s all a matter of keeping things in perspective.

“The stress can get to you sometimes. Usually when we’re dealing with people, they’re in some kind of crisis or under stress,” she said. “The hours can get to you. I like overnight shift — not everyone does. But working nights, weekends and holidays can be hard for some people. Whenever you think you’re having a bad day, someone else is having a way worse day, so it’s putting things in perspective.”

Having a strong support system is key.

“My mom, Lori Flickinger, was a little more hesitant than my dad, but they’ve been very supportive. They understand the hours,” Weekley said.

In addition to her patrol work, she is an instructor at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy, with an emphasis on teaching students about how to deal with crimes against women. She serves on the Iowa Domestic Abuse Death Review Team.

In her spare time, Weekley enjoys going to Chicago Cubs games, golfing and spending time with friends and family.

MPD Chief Mike Tupper said during her award presentation that Weekley is well deserving of the honor.

“She doesn’t ask someone to do something she wouldn’t do herself,” Tupper said.

Stevenson said Weekley gained valuable knowledge and experience during her time as a detective, which has proved an asset to her patrol work.

“She is well-liked and respected. She leads by example. She’s a joy,” Stevenson said.

Weekley said she looks forward to pursuing opportunities that advance her career, namely applying for lieutenant and captain positions at the MPD down the road.

“I feel like Marshalltown is where I want to stay. I think we have the best department in the state of Iowa,” she said.