Marion Proud: Marion's finest - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa Proud: Marion's finest

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MARION (KWWL)-- It's one of the fastest growing areas in the state of Iowa.

It's also one of the safest.

"They know we mean business," said Marion police chief Harry Daugherty.

Marion's population, which is believed to be approaching 35 thousand, has seen its crime rate decrease since Daugherty took the reigns in 1996.

And it's all been done with a police force smaller than the national average for a similar sized population.

"There's a lot of things that go into that. A lot of that comes from the council," Daugherty said.  "They give us the equipment, technology to do our job, and also it's just the work ethic of the Marion police department."

The department's success hinges on sweating what some may call the small stuff.

"We hold people accountable for the small things, hoping it doesn't build to the big things," Daugherty said.

"We run a lot of traffic and we're hard on the traffic and it keeps a lot of people either out of town or from wanting to something in town," said Marion officer Mike Rozek.

The small force also runs very efficiently.  Officers have the ability to get all their work done electronically from their squad cars.

"We do all our reports, issue a citation from in the car.  Keeps us out on the street more," Rozek said.

Among their hard-nosed image, what tends to get lost in the shuffle is the department's leniency.

Half the time, traffic violations are let off the hook with just a warning.

It's a city criminals avoid because of a strict reputation.

"As long as people are doing the speed limit and not running lights, they're not going to have any problems, but if they do, they might get a visit by one of my officers," Daugherty said.

And a reputation working to keep this growing city safe.

Online Reporter:  Jason Epner

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