- Associated Press - Saturday, April 11, 2015

CLINTON, Iowa (AP) - The author of a new report looking at police staffing levels is urging the city of Clinton to hire new officers to deal with the eastern Iowa community’s problem with serious crimes.

Researcher Tim Freesmeyer of consulting firm Etico Solutions of Macomb, Illinois, presented the report to the Clinton City Council on Thursday following a two-year examination of the Police Department, the Clinton Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1HbxZeZ ).

The report says the Clinton department needs to add about 24 police officers to its force of 44. It says 20 of those should serve as patrol officers and the other four as detectives.

The department also needs a full-time records clerk, a full-time evidence room operator and a field evidence technician, as well as much-needed technology upgrades to its computer-aided dispatch software and record-keeping systems, the report says.

“I don’t think it’s in the best interest to the city to wait to bring in new staff,” Freesmeyer said. “You need to get people in the pipeline as soon as possible.”

Council members questioned Freesmeyer about how to justify the cost of additional officers when similarly sized cities have police forces no larger than Clinton’s.

“We’re talking potentially $3 million” a year for 24 more officers, Councilman Tom Determann said.

Freesmeyer replied that his report shows Clinton has a higher rate of serious crimes compared to 30 other cities around the country. Serious crimes include homicide, rape, aggravated assault, burglary, robbery and auto theft.

“It’s my guess that staffing has gone down consistently for years, and there is not a sufficient number of detectives to tackle the little issues,” Freesmeyer said. “If you ignore the little things for long enough, they become big things.”


Information from: Clinton Herald, https://www.clintonherald.com

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