Sheriff Chad Leonard Biography

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Sheriff Leonard began his career at the Dallas County Sheriff's Office in 1997 as a Dallas County Deputy Sheriff.  In 2001 Sheriff Leonard was offered the Chief of Police position in Dallas Center where he served until he was elected Sheriff in a special election held in January 2007. 

Since Sheriff Leonard’s election in 2007 and re-election in November of 2008 he has developed the Chaplain Program, the Reserve Deputy program and assisted with the development of the Youth Character Building Academy based out of the Waukee Police Department. In 2007 he was the first Dallas County Sheriff to attend the National Sheriff's Institute in Longmont, Colorado. In 2008 he was the first Dallas County Sheriff selected to attend the National FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia. In 2010, he completed the Certified Public Manager course at Drake University. 

Sheriff Leonard joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he honorably served for 4 years. He served in Guam, Washington State and Camp Pendleton, California as a Security Forces Marine and an Infantry Marine. Sheriff Leonard received several military commendations, a military excellence award, the National Defense Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and multiple other awards.

After Active Duty Military, Sheriff Leonard was hired as the Chief of Police in Sioux Rapids, Iowa where he attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Sheriff Leonard served on the entry team with Buena Vista County and worked part time as a Buena Vista County Deputy Sheriff. In 1997 Sheriff Leonard became a Dallas County Deputy Sheriff, moved to Dallas County and honorably served in the Iowa National Guard with the 194th Infantry Detachment (LRS).

Sheriff Leonard’s hobbies have included being an active member in his community and church. He has coached youth football, baseball, wrestling, and soccer. He was also a Cub Master for the Dallas Center Cub scouts. His memberships and affiliations include: Point of Grace Church in Waukee, National Rifle Association, Character Counts Council, DC-Grimes Schools , Dallas County Chiefs of Police and Sheriff's Association, Iowa Crime Prevention Association, American Legion Post #49, Iowa State Reserve Law Officers Association, Law Enforcement Intelligence Network (LEIN), Mid-States Organized Crime Information Center® (MOCIC), Fight Crimes and Invest in Kids, E911 Communication Board Chair, Emergency Management Board Chair, National Sheriff’s Association, National FBI Academy Association and Special Olympics of Iowa.


Sheriff Leonard lives in Dallas Center with his wife Michelle. They have 5 children, and 2 grand- children. Chad is the son of Mike and Barb Leonard of Emmetsburg, Iowa; he was born and raised in Spencer, Iowa with 3 brothers and 1 sister. He attended Sacred Heart Catholic School and graduated from Spencer High School in 1990.

“I am very honored and humbled by the confidence the citizens have placed in me as the Dallas County Sheriff. I have and will always respect the office that the citizens have selected me to represent.”