Dunkerton considers cutting police department - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Dunkerton considers cutting police department

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Dunkerton city officials are considering eliminating the police department.

Currently, Dunkerton Police consists of one officer, Robert Roquet, after the resignation of Chief Tim Schultz in August amid allegations of misuse of funds.

Dunkerton mayor Edward Jessen didn't get back to KWWL on Tuesday, but at the city council meeting, they apparently tossed around a yearly operating cost of $137,000 for the department.

If the force was cut, the Black Hawk County Sheriff's Office would cover the town, at a cost of about $87,000 per year, according to Sheriff Tony Thompson.

"It's not a new concept and certainly sheriffs all over the state do that, where they can contract law enforcement coverage," Thompson said. "We offer some things that maybe the community couldn't provide for themselves. We offer a higher quality of training than what the community is able to provide."

Thompson said a locality does lose some flexibility without a local force, since the Sheriff enforces the letter of the law. He said in practice, communities end up with more officers spending more time on the streets.

Roquet said he thinks response time could suffer with the transition, and he doesn't want to lose the personality of the department. Thompson said they often have deputies in the area, so response time would be a minor issue.

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