Proposed bill could impact law enforcement in Iowa

Proposed bill could impact law enforcement in Iowa

A comprehensive look of the day's local, regional and national news, detailed events, late-breaking stories and weather updates are provided by the ABC 6 News Team.

(ABC 6 News) – In Osage, the police department deals with around 20 OWIs per year.

But potential new legislation could take away an officer’s badge if they find themselves on the other side of a traffic stop.

“We do have that responsibility to our citizens to be held to a higher stand, so I don’t see a problem,” said Osage Police Chief Brian Wright.

A new bill in the Iowa house, if passed, could result in law enforcement officers losing their certification if convicted of a second OWI.

Wright says he has no tolerance for things like this, and there are already some steps in place to hold officers accountable.

“They have to go in front of the academy board or the academy council to get approved [by] the academy to do that. And if they approve them then we are good to go, but that officer would know if they got another one, they would be done,” said Wright.

The bill was written by Iowa Representative Matthew Rinker (R) and seems to have bipartisan support.

“I don’t have any problem with keeping people accountable,” said Representative Sharon Steckman (D).

Steckman says this is a good idea, but she would also like to see more focus on other issues law enforcement faces.

“My thought is let’s focus on something they are asking for. You know updating their curriculum and their resources at the academy for the police officers that are coming in. Maybe have a scholarship for those police officers so they don’t have to pay that almost 10 thousand dollars out of their pocket,” said Rep. Steckman.

The bill is currently in the house public safety committee. It needs to get out of the committee by next Friday otherwise the bill will be dead.