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City of Jefferson, Iowa

Police Department

Departmental Goal

A. The Jefferson Police Department is dedicated to enhancing public safety and maintaining the quality of life for the community we serve.

Departmental Foundation

A. Seven full-time officers: one chief, one captain, one sergeant, four patrol officers

B. The chief and captain are considered administrative, although the chief conducts most of the administrative and personnel responsibilities. The captain has the authority to do the same.

C. Our captain, sergeant, and patrol officers work three days on, two days off, two days on, three days off, work cycle. This gives them a three day weekend off every other weekend. The officers work 12 hour shifts. The patrol officers are on a permanent shift for four months, and then rotate to a different shift. The captain and sergeant are assigned to permanent overlap shifts and supervise the events that occur during that time period.

D. Our department provides 24 hour law enforcement service for the community of Jefferson. Officers are on duty, working, any time day or night.

E. The Jefferson Police Department (JPD) is designed to function mostly as a patrol division. They are trained to work through all types of routine activity and are specialized in limited areas. When they experience a serious crime they are not trained to competently handle, they call for assistance from specialized officers on the county, state or federal level.

  • Arsons - State Fire Marshal
  • Serious drug activity - County, State and/or FederalNarcotics officers
  • Serious criminal activity - Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Postal Inspectors
  • Various other specialized investigative division

F. The JPD handled 2,578 calls last year. Those calls are broken down into the following categories: Traffic, Criminal and Public Service. Typically 60% of our calls for service are in the area of Public Service, 25% Criminal and 15% Traffic.

G. In 2011, JPD issued 753 citations.

H. Although we deal with all types of criminal activity, the most prevalent serious crimes are fraud and theft relating to financial instruments, criminal mischief, harassment, assault and domestic disputes.

I. Our most prevalent small crimes are misdemeanor theft and harassment.

J. Substance Abuse: Alcohol easily remains the worst and most abused substance of choice. Marijuana and methamphetamine are the most prevalent controlled substances we have contact with on the streets.

K. Animal Licensing: The City of Jefferson requires that all dogs and cats be licensed annually at the Law Enforcement Center, 204 S. Chestnut, Jefferson. You will need to provide proof of current vaccinations, proof of your pet being spayed or neutered, and a completed animal license form. The forms may be found at City Hall, Jefferson Public Library, the Greene County Community Center, Jefferson Veterinary Clinic, Animal Holding Facility at the Jefferson Wastewater Treatment Plant, and the Law Enforcement Center. Click here for Pet License Form (PDF).


A. The JPD is housed in the Greene County Law Enforcement Center, (LEC). The building was constructed in 1974. We share the facility with the Greene County Sheriff's Office; the Communications Center, which dispatches all Fire, EMS and Law Enforcement for Greene County; and the Greene County Jail. The Communications Center and the jail are controlled by the Sheriff's Office.

B. We also share many of the costs related to expensive office equipment. A constant goal of the Police Department is to identify and implement ways to reduce expenses through sharing with other entities.


The Jefferson Police Department currently utilizes a sport utility for its patrol vehicles. When we obtain a new vehicle it is assigned first as a “patrol” vehicle being utilized 24 hours a day for the first 24 month period. After this first 24 month period, the SUV is rotated and assigned as a supervisor vehicle being utilized 12 hours a day for the next 24 months. Lastly the vehicle would be rotated to the chief of police for the final 24 month period the department would have it. Once a vehicle has completed it’s rotation through the police department, the vehicle is transferred to another city department where it will be utilized for the remainder of its useful life.

The Chief of Police currently drives a pickup, and at any time the patrol officers can utilize that vehicle to transport animals or use it to pick up abandoned bicycles or other items too large to place in the SUV.

Cooperative Relations

A. We enjoy a close relationship with all of the local emergency response departments:

  • Greene County Emergency Medical Services
  • Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department.
  • Greene County Sheriff's Office.
  • Outlying Police Departments.

Each department recognizes their responsibilities and the other departments work to enhance the quality of service to the public through cooperation with each other.

B. We maintain a quality relationship with the school's administrative staff. We work several joint investigations with the school every year.

Police Patrol Programs

The Police Department has been involved in a school patrol program for the past eighteen years. The program consists of keeping the marked police patrol vehicles moving around and in the areas of the schools during peak times of high vehicular and pedestrian traffic. The program is designed to be a high-visibility program. Seeing the marked police vehicles helps remind the drivers and pedestrians of safety practices and encourages them to follow those practices. When police vehicles are patrolling the school areas this also allows for quick response during periods when calls for our service are requested. Every year the police department receives praise from parents and school officials acknowledging and seeing their tax dollars at work protecting their youth.

Emergency Weather Warning Sirens

The City of Jefferson purchased and installed new emergency weather warning sirens for the community in the summer, 2005. The purpose of these sirens is to give advanced audible warning to the people in the event of incoming inclement weather.

The City Council chose to change one of the existing policies regarding the activation of the sirens. That change is as follows: In the event the Greene County Communications Center receives a “Tornado Warning” issued by the National Weather Service identifying that the City of Jefferson is included in the path of a “tornado warning zone,” the dispatcher shall activate the sirens so the citizens of Jefferson can seek appropriate cover. In this case the National Weather Service has identified certain patterns or criteria with their equipment and while utilizing their advanced training determined that information indicated the potential for tornado activity is likely. This siren activation does not necessarily mean a tornado has been sighted and is headed directly for Jefferson. It does however extend the advanced warning to the people that may not have received the warning otherwise. It is the council’s intention to make sure that a warning with this potential for devastation is extended to those not otherwise around or near any other means in which they could have received the warning.

Current siren activation policy also authorizes any law enforcement officer working within the county, any fire department member, the Emergency Management Director, a reliable citizen’s report within five miles of a city and the communications operator when notified by the national weather service to request the activation of the emergency weather sirens.

Upon the activation of the sirens all persons should seek protective cover immediately. You should turn to a local radio or TV broadcasting station for further information regarding the emergency creating the warning.

Note: An automated siren test will take place on the first and third Tuesday of each month (except for the months of December, January, February and March) at 10 a.m. to ensure their working order. The sirens will activate for 30 seconds which is one complete cycle.


Check the FAQ for more information.

City of Jefferson, Iowa
January 2015
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Contact Information
Police Department
Dave Morlan, Chief
204 S. Chestnut St.
Jefferson, IA 50129
Phone: 515/386-2136

24 hours