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Traer Council begin discussions for possible police protection

July 5, 2019
CJ Eilers - Editor ( , Traer Star-Clipper

The Traer City Council will look into options for a local police department, with discussions brought on at the city council meeting on Monday, July 1 by Mayor Pete Holden and Mayor Pro Tem Carri Holst.

Holden expressed disappointment in the Tama County Sheriff's Office, stating a "collection of items" such as speeding not being addressed and lack of community involvement led to police protection to being on the agenda for the meeting. The City of Traer currently contracts with the Tama County Sheriff's Office costing $115,000 to $120,000 a year for 200 hours of service a month, according to City Clerk Jon Panfil. If the department goes over 200 hours, the City of Traer does not pay for the extra hours.

"We aren't getting our money's worth I feel," Holden said. "I am all for putting together our own police force, or approaching Dysart about forming a four-man police force between the two cities."

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The City of Dysart currently employs two full-time officers and a part-time officer, with the Sheriff's Office contracted to provide hours when needed in town. Panfil will discuss this option with Dysart to learn more about the benefits of a city department. A committee will be formed to explore options for police protection for Traer which will include representatives for the city.

"We want to know the costs of a city police force, if Dysart is happy with their process and if it's working for them generally," Holden said.

Traer would not be required to have a police station or jail in order to operate a police force in town. Holst, who is assigned to the Community Protection committee, stated this process is in the early stages to see the "feasibility" of a local police department.

"We are eager to explore options going forward," Holst said. "We're hoping to find an option to enforce our ordinances, keep an eye on businesses for vandalism or burglary."

Tama County Sheriff Dennis Kucera was not in attendance for the meeting

"I know the Sheriff's dept is highly opposed to this and have stated so several times," Holden said. "It would be nice to have them a part of this discussion and supportive. They could have a lot of input, but I'm not counting on that."

This is an ongoing story and will be reported by the Traer Star-Clipper as updates are made available.



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