Dan Trelka will run for Black Hawk County Sheriff against Sheriff Tony Thompson in 2020

Waterloo (KWWL) – An epic 2020 local election battle is shaping up in Black Hawk County.

Retiring Waterloo Police Chief, Dan Trelka, says he will run for Black Hawk County Sheriff next year. That means Trelka will challenge current 3-term Sheriff, Tony Thompson, who is expected to seek a 4th term.

After 10-years as Water Police Chief, Chief Trelka retires from the Waterloo Police Department on November 30.

Trelka is also a Black Hawk County Supervisor, and the lone Republican on the Supervisors Board. He made the announcement in an email late Monday night, calling his campaign Vision 2020: Trelka for Sheriff.

Here is Dan Trelka’s candidacy announcement.

With the support and encouragement of my family, friends and many in the community, it is an honor and privilege to announce my candidacy for Black Hawk County Sheriff.

Although I retired from my position of Chief of the Waterloo Police Department, I believe I still have more to do…more to offer…and more to accomplish in our great community.
My priorities as Sheriff will be the following:
1) Improve the morale at the Sheriff’s Office.
2) Reduce recidivism.
3) Utilize discretionary Sheriff’s funds to help in the reduction of crime throughout the county.
4) Collaborate with fire services, especially those in rural areas, for the benefit of our entire community.
5) Work jointly with other area law enforcement agencies to provide fiscally responsible services.
We live in a day and age where nothing divides the American people more than politics. What one person sees as a rebel, another may see a patriot. We have to be willing as a community to come to the table to have a tough, yet open and honest dialogue.
As Sheriff, I realize it will not be my responsibility to legislate, but my duty to enforce established law and uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the Constitution of the State of Iowa.
I look forward to further sharing my platform, in-depth, with the great people of Black Hawk County.
Dan Trelka


The 56 year-old Trelka became Waterloo Police Chief in May of 2010. He was hired by former Waterloo Mayor, Buck Clark, to replace the retiring Tom Jennings.

In 2016, the popular Trelka appeared to be on his way out of Waterloo. He had told some of his officers that Mayor Quentin Hart asked him to resign by December 31 that year.

But, facing a backlash of community support for Trelka, Mayor Hart had a change of heart, and Trelka stayed on as Waterloo Police Chief.

The race for Black Hawk County Sheriff will be watched by many.

Sheriff Tony Thompson is also quite popular. He has been Black Hawk County Sheriff for 11 -years, and has won his three elections by wide margins. Thompson won his first re-election over Black Hawk County Sheriff’s Deputy, William Herkelman, with 70-per cent of the vote. Thompson had no opposition for his 3rd term in 2016, winning with 98.8 per cent of the vote. He has yet to make an official announcement for a 4th term.

Ron Steele

Ron Steele

KWWL Evening Anchor
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