Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

March 8, 2013

Busy year for County Attorney's Office

By Steve Woodhouse Editor
The Journal Express

---- — The number of cases handled by the Marion County Attorney’s Office has increased by nearly 500 between 2010 and 2012, according to the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

The department researched the comparison for Marion County Attorney Ed Bull. The department’s figures show that there were 4,074 crimes adjudicated in Marion County Associate and District Court in 2012, which is 494 more than 2010. Bull was elected to the office in November 2010.

“I think we’re meeting the goals of the community and I’m thrilled with our outcomes,” Bull said. These numbers do not include every case handled by Bull and his assistants. They handle cases involving substance abuse, mental health commitments, civil issues for the county government and juvenile cases, not factored in with the criminal workload.

Marion County had 19 convictions for sex-based crimes in 2012. Bull is disappointed by the number of these kinds of crimes being committed, as oftentimes, the victims in these cases were children.

The majority of the criminal caseload continues to be alcohol-related offenses. There were 153 convictions for driving under the influence and 67 public intoxication convictions. To help combat public intoxication crimes, the office started a treatment program. Bull hopes the number of these crimes will decrease the longer this education program exists.

“It’s been incredibly successful so far,” Bull said. There are 16 offenders currently in the program.

Some crimes can see spikes or valleys, due to weather conditions. Assaults and disorderly conduct for example, typically become more prevalent in warmer temperatures.

Bull does not believe that crime will ever be stopped. The office, in conjunction with law enforcement, can only try to deter it.

“All we can do is deter by demonstrating a willingness to prosecute,” Bull said.

Bull currently has three assistant attorneys who prosecute cases. He anticipates the number of arrests and cases filed to increase, as most of the law enforcement agencies in the county reach a full roster.

“I would like to thank each and every member of law enforcement, my assistant county attorneys, the Iowa Attorney General’s Office and my support staff for their hard work in 2012,” Bull said. “Without their dedication to public service, our community would not be as safe as it is. I look forward to continuing to strive toward making Marion County the safest of all 99 counties in the years to come. I would also like to thank my Board of Supervisors for giving me the resources necessary to ensure the public’s safety.”

Other statistics from 2012:

• 52 serious drug-related offenses

• 47 convictions of assault-based crimes (non-domestic)

• 36 convictions of assault-based crimes (domestic)

• 25 convictions of violation of a no contact order

• 18 convictions of harassment

• 14 convictions of burglary-related crimes

• 72 convictions of theft-based crimes

• 21 convictions of criminal mischief

• 36 convictions of disorderly conduct

• 1 conviction of vehicular homicide

• 2 convictions of murder in the first degree