(Le Mars) — Le Mars Police Chief Kevin Vande Vegte appeared before the Le Mars City Council on Tuesday to submit the police department’s annual report.
Vande Vegte says COVID-19 had an impact on the department’s duties. Vande Vegte informed the council they patrol between 76 and 80 miles of city streets on a daily basis, which translates to an average of 410 miles each day. Vande Vegte says the department is in its second year of having a school resource officer within the schools, and calls the program a success. Following Vande Vegte’s report, Mayor Dick Kirchoff mentioned that he and council member Mike Donlin attended a Kiwanis meeting in which Le Mars Community School Superintendent Dr. Steve Webner was the featured speaker. Kirchoff says Dr. Webner had good comments about the school resource officer program.
Mayor Kirchoff then praised Vande Vegte and his officers since Le Mars was recently named as the “Second Safest City” in Iowa. The police chief responded by saying it is a nice honor for the community, but he also acknowledged other city departments, as well as the city’s residents and shared the credit.
Chief Vande Vegte says property related crimes were lower in 2020, but crimes against persons were higher.
Vande Vegte highlighted some of the trends from 2020, as well as discussed some statistics.
Vande Vegte informed the council the department’s goals for 2021 is to make more contacts with the citizens of Le Mars. He specifically said they want to stop in every business in town, to make a connection and to inquire as to how everything is going. The police chief says due to COVID-19 they had to drop a few programs. Vande Vegte says they hope to start up the Citizens Academy again, as well as have the “Coffee with a Cop” program.