Overland Park, KS - Francis "Frank" Donchez Jr. becomes Overland Park's fifth police chief in the city's 54-year history.
Donchez is set to begin his new job on Monday, Oct. 20, pending final completion of a required background check.
"Frank is a leader with proven results in law enforcement in two other cities," said Overland Park City Manager Bill Ebel. "His department in Davenport, Iowa, reduced its crime rate 49 percent during Frank's six-year tenure as police chief. He has also worked with neighborhood and business leaders on a community policing program and built a city team with other departments to quickly and effectively address emerging local crime trends.
"Frank will build upon the success of the Overland Park Police Department and engage our 250 sworn officer force to develop law enforcement leaders and further implement programs and strategies that help the city maintain one of the lowest crime rates in the region and nation," Ebel added.
"Overland Park's national reputation affords me an opportunity to work with a first-class team of officers and staff members, further build upon its community neighborhood efforts and proceed with innovative strategies and community outreach," said Donchez.
"Donchez is currently the Police Chief of Davenport, where he has served in that capacity since 2008. He has also served as the city's Acting City Administrator at times since 2013.
He started his police career in Bethlehem, Penn., in 1981, rising to the rank of Police Commissioner. In 2006 through 2007, he was a consultant for the Easton, Penn.,Police Department.
Donchez earned his law degree and became a licensed attorney in 2001. He was in private practice from 2001 to 2007. He is currently pursuing his master's degree in public administration.
Other training and education experiences include theFBI National Academy; the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council; Harvard's Kennedy School of Government; a bachelor's degree in management fromMoravian College; Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander's Academy; and United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Training.
Donchez replaces John Douglass, who served as Overland Park's Police Chief for 18 years prior to retiring in April.
Frank and his wife Beverly plan to live in Overland Park.
Contact: Sean Reilly, city of Overland Park's communications manager, 913-895-6109.
Release Below is Courtesy of the City of Davenport
Davenport Police Chief Frank Donchez, who led the department through a 49 percent reduction in crime during his six-year tenure, will take over the same position in Overland Park, Kan., on Oct. 20.
Coming from Bethlehem, Pa, Donchez took over Davenport’s force of 163 sworn officers in 2008. Overland Park’s force has 250 sworn officers.
“Chief Donchez did excellent work for the citizens of Davenport,” City Administrator Craig Malin said. “That he was recruited to a larger jurisdiction is not surprising.
“I’m particularly thankful that his support of professional development within the department has resulted in multiple internal candidates who I expect to be highly competitive in a national search for his replacement,” Malin said.
Donchez called the reduction of crime a major accomplishment for his time leading the Davenport Police Department.
“I’m proud that we have reduced the amount of crime that we have since I’ve been here,” Donchez said.
He cherishes a more personal accomplishment from last year, initiated by an 83-year-old widower who was looking for a son he hadn’t seen in 50 years. Donchez received a letter from Marvin Schimel looking for his son that he believed one time lived in Davenport.
Donchez took on the task personally to find the son, but ran into dead end after dead end. Enlisting help within the department, he finally found Gary Anderson, of Berwick, Iowa, who was told his father died in the Vietnam War. Donchez met the men during a visit prior to Thanksgiving.
“Professionally, all of these things we’ve done here are great, but personally, that is the best thing I’ve done,” he said. “Sixty years apart, and I helped reunite them.”
Overland Park City Manager Bill Ebel noted Davenport’s decrease in a release that announced Donchez will be the fifth chief to lead the Overland Park department in its 54-year history.
“Frank will build upon the success of the Overland Park Police Department and engage our 250 sworn-officer force to develop law enforcement leaders and further implement programs and strategies that help the city maintain one of the lowest crime rates in the region and nation,” Ebel said.
At times in Davenport, Donchez served as acting city administrator.
Donchez earned his law degree in 2001 and served in private practice from 2001 to 2007. He started his police career in Bethlehem, Pa., in 1981, rising to the rank of police commissioner. In 2006-2007, he was a consultant for the Easton, Pa., Police Department.
He has attended the FBI National Academy, the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Unit Commander’s Academy, and United States Secret Service Dignity Protection training.