Donnellson and West Point police merge as one department - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Donnellson and West Point police merge as one department

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West Point and Donnellson Police. West Point and Donnellson Police.
Chief Brad Roberts at his desk in the office. Chief Brad Roberts at his desk in the office.
Donnellson police vehicle. Donnellson police vehicle.
Donnellson city hall. Donnellson city hall.
LEE COUNTY, Ia. (WGEM) -

Two Southeast Iowa communities are merging police departments.

The Donnellson and West Point Police departments are coming together, even though they're miles apart. Officials said the goal is to better protect the area and also help with response times. Training and constant turnover has been an issue for both West Point and Donnellson, officials said.

The cities decided to hire one chief to look over both communities and the chief said he's bringing in more staff to patrol the streets. West Point and Donnellson residents said they don't see a lot of local police patrolling the streets in their cities. 

"We don't see them patrolling a lot now so obviously there would be more patrolling more often," Greg Calvert said.  

Police Chief Brad Roberts was notified about an opening for police chief in Donnellson back in May, and said he was interested in taking control of both departments and making changes. 

"I've been able to make significant changes over there as far as the structure and organization within the department," Roberts said. "Especially with the training of the officers and getting them where they need to be."

The mayor of Donnellson said the city has hired three police chiefs in the past five years. Now, there will be stability.

"By merging two towns or even more, there is substantial savings to the city and it allows the chief to be able to serve their community better." 

He said the overall savings will be around $15,000 a year for taxpayers. Many residents approve of the change. 

"Sure, like I said, anytime you can save taxpayer money, it's a great thing," Calvert said. "If they can do that, it would be a good thing." 

Roberts plans to double his staff with a 12 person team made up of reserve officers who have years of experience on the streets. 

"They've been doing this a long time," Roberts said. "I've got a lot of experienced officers. I have one in West Point celebrating his 25th year, so we do have experience."

There will also be a change in reporting crimes. Roberts said in the past, people would go to his office or city hall to report an incident.

Now, people need to call 911 and report to Lee Comm Dispatchers. He said building that relationship with the sheriff's office will be essential when emergencies happen.

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