Police chief addresses program budgets to City Council

Emelie Knobloch

Several city program budgets were brought to the city council’s attention this week.

Campustown was brought up more than once during the public safety program discussion.

“A while back, you came to us about cameras in Campustown,” said councilman Peter Orazem. “I think at the time, people had concerns about public safety. Is that something that will be coming now?”

Chuck Cychosz, Ames Police chief, said that the idea of putting up cameras is not going on now.

“We could certainly look into some options if you would like,” Cychosz said. “It would be around $30,000 for that project when we looked into it last time.”

Chief Cychosz said that the safe neighborhood teams that began in Campustown have worked with ISU prevention services to present information to fraternities and sororities in the past.

Councilwoman Gloria Betcher asked how well the safe neighborhood teams have been helping the entire community of Ames.

“They have been all around Ames,” Cychosz said. “They started in Campustown, but they have spread all around Ames.”

Councilman Matthew Goodman brought up Charlie Yoke’s beer permit and liquor license six-month renewal.

“We had a bar owner before us about a week ago talking about the distinction between calls made by the owners and calls made by other people about the bar,” Goodman said. “Is there a way to tell between the two?”

Cychosz said the police department is trying to create a spirit of cooperation to help solve these problems together.

“What you saw was maybe a defensive reaction,” said Cychosz. “They did really turn the bar around quickly.”

Several graphs were presented to show the number of intoxication arrests, assault arrests, noise complaints, as well as many other issues.

“Assault arrests fluctuate a lot and, over the past decade, it has gone down,” Cychosz said. “Some of the changes there are not simply the work of police but from the entire community.”

Ames Police recorded approximately 200 arrests per year for driving while intoxicated, according to Cychosz.

“I would like to tell you that the decreasing number of intoxication/[DWI] is due to less intoxication, but I think it is due to police officer numbers and placement,” Cychosz said.

Cychosz said that ISU Police have around the same number of DWI arrests as the Ames Police Department.

“There is a decrease in noise complaints, as well,” Cychosz said. “We are really pleased with the help we are getting from the community.”

Gloria Betcher brought up the Ames Police Department working with Iowa State on the cost of Iowa State’s parking fines at sporting events.

“The City of Ames parking tickets were not high, and many people would rather have to pay a City of Ames parking ticket than pay for parking legally,” Betcher said.

Cychosz said that the City of Ames parking tickets vary a lot.

“We are working with ISU Police,” Cychosz said. “There is always university public parking. People choose to park closer to the events in illegal parking areas.”

Other programs discussed were community enrichment, utilities and transportation.