In times of need, unarmed ISU Police collaborate with Ames Police

Rebecca Carton

While campus police await the Board of Regents’ decision on campus security, they will continue to rely on Ames Police if they need access to firearms.

Although it may seem this situation would make more work for Ames Police, both departments said they have a close working relationship. Neither department creates an increased workload for the other.

ISU Police Cmdr. Gene Deisinger said it was common for ISU Police to be called to back up Ames Police when they are particularly busy.

“The Ames Police Department often requests our officers to provide backup in traffic stops, major incidents or if all their officers are tied up,” Deisinger said.

Deisinger said in cases where ISU Police are busy with other issues, they call in the Ames Police for backup because of a mutual agreement.

Because campus police are unarmed, however, situations involving a weapon have to be redirected to Ames Police. These instances are not common.

“We are not called over there for an arming issue that often,” said Cmdr. Jim Robinson of the Ames Police Department.

Deisinger said situations in which the Ames Police are called for backup are when “a weapon is found, there’s believed to be a weapon or the driver comes back as a wanted felon” to help insure the safety of the unarmed officers.

Deisinger said these types of incidents are very rare.

According to crime statistics compiled by the ISU Department of Public Safety, there have been only three weapons law arrests on campus in the past three years, two of which took place in 2006.

There was also one arrest for weapons law violations on public property in 2006.

Robinson does not believe that ISU Police’s lack of firearms creates work for his officers.

“I wouldn’t say it leads to more work,” he said. “It’s not that often that we are called in for those types of incidents.”

FBI crime statistics show that 8,697 violent crimes were reported in Iowa in 2005. In 2006, 8,455 violent crimes were reported in the state.

FBI crime statistics also reveal that 473 law enforcement officers were assaulted in the state of Iowa in 2005. Nine of the officers were assaulted by a firearm and eight others were assaulted with knives.

According to the FBI’s Officers Killed and Assaulted report, there have been no officers feloniously killed in Iowa between 1996 and 2005.

Both the ISU Police and the Ames Police have comparable training.

Officers from both departments are required to complete programs at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. In addition, ISU Police take part in field training for more than 12 weeks and train throughout the year.