Donnellson looks at sharing police

April 5, 2017

DONNELLSON — The City of Donnellson hasn’t always had the greatest of luck finding police chiefs.

It was two years ago when former Police Chief William Sackett was arrested after being charged with simple assault. He stepped down from his position and was later found not guilty.

Next came Tom Oberman, who was hired in September of 2015, but later resigned in April of 2017. This left the city getting by with only the occasional Lee County Sheriff patrol and a couple of reserve officers.

But when the council met on Monday night, they discussed an idea that could solve the city’s law enforcement’s shortage.

During the discussion, West Point Mayor Paul Walker and West Point City Administrator Gary Menke were invited to join in. One idea was to invite West Point Police Chief Brad Roberts to take charge of not only the reserve officers in West Point, but of those in Donnellson as well.

Donnellson Mayor Dave Ellingboe said it would be necessary to split the amount of money being paid to the chief so that each city would pay its fair share. Walker said the idea had not been discussed with his council yet, so he did not know how its members would respond. He said the idea would have to go before the Safety Committee before going in front of the city council.

“We don’t want to put the cart before the horse,” Walker said. “Nobody on our council even knows about the idea yet.”

Ellingboe said he felt that it would be a good idea to let a committee look at the idea while West Point was studying it.

Also on the agenda:

Representatives from the Lee County Health Department spoke to the Donnellson City Council during Monday’s meeting. Those there were not seeking donations of any kind. They were, instead, asking for support of the May 2 $2.6 million bond issue.

If approved, the money will be used to construct a new county health building. According to Julie Schilling, it would be better to use funds to build a new building that would eventually pay for itself rather than stay where the facility is located and continue paying rent and high maintenance costs.