Sioux City Police Department wants more officers for its traffic unit

City council members will vote for possible police department additions

By Bria Bell |

Published 02/12 2016 09:29PM

Updated 02/14 2016 12:25PM

Sioux City's Police Department wants to add two new members to its department, but city council will have to make that call and not all are in agreement about if that would be money well spent.
"Officers are just getting pulled thinner and thinner and thinner," says Sioux City Police Officer Sheehan.
On Wednesday, city council members deliberated how the city's budget will be spent. Sioux City Police Chief Doug Young took the opportunity to request two more positions for the department's traffic unit, causing a divide amongst council members. Officer Sheehan says he supports the chief because the current lack of officers is taking a toll on the boys in blue.   
"There are a lot of shifts that have to be back filled because they're short shifted and so they have to hire back and pay someone for overtime to come in and work when they're short," says Sheehan. 
Discussions to transfer some law officials from the drug unit to traffic came about, but Sheehan says that's just not logical.
"I would be very cautious about taking away from the efforts that we have put in place to investigate and prosecute the drug crimes because a lot of crime that we deal with directly relates back to drug related crime," says Sheehan.  
As council members are set to vote on where the city's dollars will go in early March,
Council members Dan Moore and Rhonda Capron are in favor of the possible new additions to the police force. 
"We need to step up our traffic enforcement," says Moore. 
"I believe that we need to be proactive not reactive... a lot of things have changed in the city, we're getting bigger, we're growing and we're going to need more police and fire," says Capron. 
Both Dan and Rhonda say they believe the budget will be equipped for the additions, and officer Sheehan says no matter what, "[the department] will do everything we can to go out...24 hours a day, and keep the public as safe as we can keep them," says Sheehan.   
City council will hold another budget meeting on February 18 and will vote for a final decision on the additional positions in early March. 
Iowa Cities by Population and Police Force 
Des Moines - 203,433
Police officers - 360
Cedar Rapids - 126,326
Police officers - 210
Davenport  - 99,685
Police officers - 163
Sioux City - 82,684
Police officers - 123 
Waterloo - 68,406
Police officers - 123
Iowa City - 67,862
Police officers - 82
Council Bluffs - 62,230
Police officers - 113
Ames - 58,965
Police officers - 53
Dubuque - 57,637
Police officers - 109
West Des Moines - 56,609
Police officers - 66


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