On Tuesday, Feb. 14, the Dallas Center City Council met at 7 p.m. to discuss potential changes within the community.
Tuesday night’s meeting discussed in-length the process of the potential development of the Dallas County Law Enforcement Center, as well as the removal of the Dallas Center Police Department. A motion was passed to move forward with having the Sheriff’s Department provide Dallas Center’s law enforcement.
“I make a motion that we move forward with having the sherrif’s office provide our law enforcement services,” Curtis Pion, City Council Member said.
The motion was seconded by Ryan Kluss and the motion was passed.
“I recommend the next step would be to have the Safety Committe negotiate with the Sheriff’s Office on the terms of that contract,” Michael Kidd, Dallas Center Mayor said.
A move was completed to continue forward with the Safety Committee making negotiations.
“I think we were thinking a 2-3 month process that the sheriff’s office needs to go through to get two more people onto his staff,” Kidd commented. “We will probably talk with him about some interim coverage.”
In the meantime, Kidd anticipations a contract to be created for the following meeting.
“I would have a goal by the next council meeting, March 14, to have a contract ready to be voted on by the council by that day,” Kidd said.
Dallas County Sheriff, Chad Leonard, presented at the meeting, explaining his concerns with prisoner overcrowding at the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department.
“We have too many prisoners,” Leonard stated. “It’s a logistical nightmare; we currently try to get them all under one roof.”
According to Leonard, prisoners range from Jasper county, Boone county and Gutherie county.
“This is a public safety nightmare for our folks who are transporting all of these prisoners to other facilities,” Leonard said.
Due to minimum space at the current jail, Dallas County prisoners have been transported to multiple other facilities around Iowa. Leonard voices concerns for the safety of officers who are now spending more time on the road transporting prisoners to and from separate facilities. The new proposal will allow for enough space to house prisoners as well as the full staff.
“Every community in Dallas County will get a community meeting,” Leonard said. “This is by far the best plan that we’ve got in four years; I’d appreciate it if you consider supporting it.”
Later, City Council members discussed the sheriff departments current involvement with the community.