Ames PD reports less use of force incidents in November than October


Matt Belinson / Iowa State Daily

Ames Police respond to a fire on Aug. 28, 2020.

Ames Police’s monthly activity report for November saw a decrease in the use of force incidents compared to October’s activity report.

Eight use-of-force incidents are cited in the report for November. Two involved officers pointing duty firearms and tasers at subjects, one involved just the pointing of duty firearms and five involved the grabbing of subjects. Two of the five, which involved grabbing the subject, also involved taking the subject to the ground.

November saw fewer use-of-force incidents than October, which had 12. Of the 12, one involving the pointing of a duty firearm and deployment of a taser, one involved just the pointing of a duty firearm at a subject, two involved the deployment of a taser, one involved holding down a subject while they were being handcuffed, one involved tackling a subject, three involved grabbing a subject, one involved grabbing a subject and pushing them against a wall, one involved grabbing a subject and forcing them into a squad car and one involved pushing back the head of a subject who was attempting to bite an officer, according to the report.

Ames Chief of Police Geoff Huff said his department’s officers make every attempt to de-escalate situations without having to use force.

“That’s our goal — that’s what winning looks like,” Huff said. “Getting the job done and never having to use force.”

Huff said there is a multitude of factors that go into making the decision to use force, one of which is when individuals are under the influence.

“Some of the people that we’re dealing with are not going to de-escalated,” Huff said. “One thing I often say is, de-escalation is not a special powder that you sprinkle over somebody and it works. There [are] strategies that you use, there’re techniques that you use, and for some people, they will work. And for others, they won’t.”

November’s report stated that there were 2,268 calls for service, a decrease from October’s 2,680. Huff said the department receives the most calls for service between October and September.

“September [and] October both are pretty busy months because the students have all come back, there are lots of activities going on, and so that’s going to lead to more police interactions,” Huff said.

October reported a total of 119 arrests made or charges issued, and 196 citations issued. November saw 92 arrests made or charges issued and 164 citations issued.

Gang Activity

Huff said there is not much information to share with the public regarding the department’s ongoing investigation concerning the feuding gangs in Ames.

“We’ve had some leads, so we’re making progress — it’s just slow going, and there really isn’t much that is helpful to share with the public at this point,” Huff said.

Regarding the investigation, Huff mentioned two outstanding homicides that the department is investigating that they have not gotten cooperation from witnesses for.

“Honestly, with the Elks club [homicide], we got very little cooperation even though there were plenty of witnesses,” Huff said. “There was plenty of people there that know exactly what happened, and we’re just not getting the story from them.”