West Liberty police seeking more part-time officers


The West Liberty Police Department is short handed according to Chief Jeremy Burdess.

The chief told the West Liberty City Council in his October report that the department is seeking applicants for the position of part-time police officer, hoping to assist the department in covering for vacations, sickness and time-off requests. Burdess said the position requires the officer to be a certified law enforcement officer in the state.

The chief said the city has five part-time officers currently employed, but notes those officers are already employed full-time for other departments, pointing out “schedules don’t always work out.” He said adding officers will give the department additional options for covering shifts when necessary.

Also in his report, Burdess said West Liberty officers participated in a domestic violence training course at city hall presented by Sydney Millage, a domestic abuse advocate from Muscatine County. The chief said domestic violence calls are one of the most prevalent calls the department gets, noting they can also be the “most dangerous” in which officers respond.

Regarding other department education, officer Zach Pillard completed 16 hours of training to become ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) certified while officer Andrew Siitari completed a two-week course to become a certified DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer to be utilized in West Liberty schools.

The chief reported the city earned about $1,800 from vehicle inspections conducted by the department.

He also reported the department had 367 total calls for service through Oct. 28 including 31 traffic citations/warnings being issued.

The chief also reported five arrests including Ruben Dominguez Herrera on Oct. 4 for robbery first, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession with intent to deliver. On Oct. 10, Jasmine Almanza was arrested for domestic abuse assault and on Oct. 13, Kenneth Paul Charlie was arrested for enhanced domestic abuse assault while, on Oct.16, Joshua Lee Carter was delivered a warrant arrest via an outside agency,

The chief said although the number of children and families participating in trick or treat for Halloween on Oct. 31 was down from other years, it was successful and no incidents were reported.

Burdess said the department had extra officers on duty handing out treats as well as watching for “shenanigans” after the trick or treating hours had passed.