Journal Express, Knoxville, IA


July 20, 2012

KPD juvenile referrals up in 2011

Knoxville — Since the Knoxville City Council is looking into adding a 14th officer to the Knoxville Police Department, which would be a school liaison officer, we decided to ask about calls to Knoxville Schools during the 2011-12 school year. 

As reported, the City of Knoxville was one of four agencies in Iowa to be awarded a COPS grant from the federal government. This federal grant will pay a portion of the costs of a full-time police officer for three years, if the City agrees to keep the officer on for a fourth at its own expense. 

The KPD is wrapping its search for a 13th officer, but this grant cannot be used for any of the current applicants for that position. After writing the grant, the KPD learned that the position for which the grant money will be used, must be filled by a veteran. This is a new condition that was not in place at the time of the original application. 

Police Chief Dan Losada has been discussing the possibility of resurrecting the school liaison program with Knoxville Schools' Superintendent Randy Flack. Both Flack and school board member Mike Helle have expressed their support of the program. The costs to the City and School District for the officer would be minimized by the grant. 

The number of calls for service answered to Knoxville Schools between Aug. 15, 2011, through May 15, 2012, numbered 211. That number may incomplete, as a report may not have been filed each time an officer stopped by a school building. The breakdown of where the officers responded is as follows: 

Knoxville HIgh School-103 calls

GOAL Alternative High School-8 calls

Knoxville Middle School-57 calls

Northstar Elementary-23 calls

West Elementary-20 calls

"It is likely that this is not a complete list," Losada wrote. "Incidents may have started at other locations and moved to a school or involved more than one school." 

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Upon completion and reopening of Third Street, should the City of Knoxville wait to start the next stage of the Streetscape and Infrastructure project until 2015?

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