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Iowa Department of Public Safety
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Des Moines, Iowa 50319

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For immediate release:  

March 2, 2017  

DPS Commissioner Ryan Names Next Iowa State Patrol Colonel

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Today, Iowa Department of Public Safety Commissioner Roxann Ryan announced that Iowa State Patrol Captain Jeff Ritzman will be named to head the Iowa State Patrol.  Captain Ritzman will take the rank of Colonel and replace Colonel Michael Van Berkum who officially retired today.

"The Iowa State Patrol’s reputation as dedicated professionals will continue with the leadership of Colonel Ritzman," Commissioner Ryan said.  "Colonel Ritzman possesses the unique combination of leadership, integrity, and robust experience needed to ensure the public’s safety in the years ahead.”

“The personnel of the Iowa State Patrol maintain a rich tradition of excellence and public service.  These are traditions that will continue under my watch.  I’m humbled and honored to serve the men and women who uphold these traditions, as their Chief,” said Ritzman.   

Colonel Ritzman will be the sixteenth Chief of the Iowa State Patrol.  He is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.A., 1993) and Drake University (M.P.A. 2008).  He began his career with the Iowa State Patrol in 1982, and has served as a Trooper in District 12 (Stockton), a Sergeant in District 13 (Mount Pleasant), a District Commander in District 1 (Des Moines), and also served as Basic Academy Camp Commander (35th Basic Academy, 2010), and in the Professional Standards Bureau and the Division of Intelligence and Fusion Center.   Most recently, he served as Executive Officer to the Commissioner.  He is married and has two children and five grandchildren.


Colonel Van Berkum’s request for service retirement was approved on February 20 by the Peace Officer Retirement Systems’ Board of Trustees.  He was eligible to retire last fall, but chose to retire on March 2, along with three of his classmates from the 12th Basic Academy, held in 1985.

“Colonel Van Berkum has been a dedicated professional in protecting Iowans for more than three decades, and we owe him a debt of gratitude for his service,” said Commissioner Ryan. “He combines the commitment, care and professionalism that Iowans have come to expect from the Iowa State Patrol.  His leadership and his friendship will be missed.”

Colonel Van Berkum grew up in Rock Valley and graduated from Northwestern College (B.A. 1985).  He completed the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy (FBI NA) in 2007, and served as the Iowa FBI NA Associates Chapter President in 2012-2013.

In the Iowa State Patrol, Colonel Van Berkum served as a Trooper in District 5 (Cherokee), a Sergeant and Lieutenant in District 3 (Council Bluffs), and a Captain in State Patrol Headquarters, where he served as the Department’s Homeland Security Coordinator, and as an Area Field Captain and Administrative Operations before he was named Colonel in April 2015.

Colonel Jeff Ritzman's Photo

Media Contact: Iowa State Patrol Lieutenant Rob Hansen at (515) 418-4701.

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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