[Masthead] ~ 72°F  
High: 74°F ~ Low: 55°F
Thursday, May 5, 2016

Cop commentaries help guide the department - but no help for Hawkeyes

Thursday, January 31, 2002

The usual crop of mixed reviews has greeted the Storm Lake Police Department in its annual community evaluation process.

Since 1994, all of the officers have been sending out evaluation forms to the people they serve - including those that they have handed traffic citations to.

About every 100th person the officers contact is surveyed, and the results help police to "determine if the department can better serve the community through response styles, employee communication skills, staff performance and image," Public Safety Director and Police Chief Mark Prosser said.

Out of 501 evaluations officers gave out, 131 were returned in 2001.

Of those, 119 said they were satisfied with their contact with a Storm Lake police officer, and 12 were not satisfied.

A total of 126 people said they found the officer they dealt with courteous, while 5 did not. A total of 122 said the officer was knowledgeable, while 6 did not.

The comments were a mixed bag of applause and criticism.

"This officer was very courteous but still businesslike, a credit to the Storm Lake Police Department," one survey said.

"It took over 15 minutes to get to the scene of my accident," another complained.

Another said, "It made me a little resentful. I was looking for BVU for my conference. Probably was over the speed limit. A warning would have been nice." The same person said that he met two other people, all of whom were followed for several blocks, and then offered the same reduction in speed penalty, which the person said "seemed like a scam."

Not everyone involved in a traffic stop came away bitter. "If I ever have to be pulled over again in your area, I'm from Odebolt, I hope I get the same officer or someone that's just as nice as Officer Johnson. He is certainly in the right profession."

Another counters, "Took about an hour for nothing and was not courteous. Pulled over for no reason but knowing the person driving."

One reads simply, "Thanks for your help," another cites an officer for being "helpful giving me directions to the hospital."

And one creative respondent suggests "some 'pleasant pills' should be administered to some of the patrolmen."

One person stopped with a shorting headlight resented being asked for ID, and said they will quit shopping in Storm Lake and go elsewhere.

"I was appalled at the number of squad cars (3+) that drove by while Officer Johnson was writing my ticket," one survey form said.

A sports fan had this to say, "I reminded the officer that I was sorry about my judgement in driving over the speed limit. He did not seem concerned that I was on my way home for an 8:00 tip-off by the Hawkeyes. He commented that he was a Cyclone fan. The next time I want a Hawkeye fan in the police car. Guilty as charged."

Only one of the four pages of comments received implied a racial bias. "...They assume I am a brother and falsely accuse me of things I haven't done," a black man said.

Another, however, appreciated the patrol the department puts in. "Very reassuring that the department would keep an eye on our neighborhood. There are several elderly ladies living alone, as well as me, alone in this area," the person wrote, "Thanks."

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: