Iowa State Patrol celebrates 75 years - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa State Patrol celebrates 75 years

DES MOINES (KWWL) -- The Iowa State Patrol has a long and proud past, serving the people of Iowa for 75 years.
Troopers patrolled the roads for the first time on July 28, 1935.
Since that time there has been some big changes in the Iowa State Patrol; everything from uniforms to technology, and even cars.

Colonel Patrick Hoye has been leading the agency for two and half years. He started with the Iowa State Patrol in 1982. Hoye says technology continues to moves them forward from cars with no radios, to CB's, to now having computers in every squad car.

"We can now bounce emails out to our troopers and have them be on the lookout for specific things, if its officer safety where you couldn't broadcast over the radio the troopers had to find a phone to call in those types of things. Now we can instantaneously bounce them an email," said Colonel Hoye.

It's the job of the patrol to make sure Iowa's roadways stay safe, sometimes having to go above and beyond.

"What the Iowa State Patrol has been tasked with this last winter was a great example. The winter storms that wreaked havoc across the state. Those cars going in, it was the state troopers pulling them out."

One man who deals with the Iowa State Patrol on a daily basis is Governor Chet Culver as the patrol provides the governor's protection.

"I really understand the rich history and the tradition of these brave men and women who have served now for 75 years putting their lives on the line every single day," said Governor Culver.

The hard work and dedication of the Iowa State Troopers have made their past a proud one, but questions surround its future. They've had to close two posts because of a smaller budget and they've also left 80 positions vacant.

"We can't provide the quickest response we would like. In the past when we were at full strength you almost always had a trooper per county working. Now you could have a trooper cover two or three counties," said Hoye.

"We can always do better interim of funding level. I'm going to continue to work with the legislature to make sure we give these men and women the tools they need, the resources they need to do a good job and we've found a way to do that during some very tough economic times," said Culver.

Despite the obstacles before them the Iowa State Patrol will continue to provide courtesy, service, and protection to all Iowa citizens.

"There's been 1,584 troopers that have worn brown over the years and all 1,584 had really have the same passion and mission and if you boil it down to two things it's reducing fatalities and injuries on the highway and providing aid to those that are in need and those two are the cornerstone of what we did 75 years ago and we still do today," said Hoye.

 Online Reporter: John Wilmer

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