Letter to the Editor:
I am responding to address Bryan Ellenbecker's letter that was printed in the Tama News Herald dated October 20, 2016 and regarding his statements made at the recent Farm Bureau Candidate Forum held on October 3, 2016. Based on statements made by Bryan, he is making an issue of the Tama County Sheriff's Office not providing 24 hour coverage. He has referred to Dennis Kucera as misleading and not truthful.
I would like to inform the tax payers and general public that I too worked for the Tama Police Department prior to being hired by the Tama County Sheriff's Office. I worked for the Tama Police Department for approximately seven and a half years working various shifts with the majority of those shifts being overnight.
The statement has been made by Bryan that the City of Tama had 24 hour coverage is not accurate. In his letter he said "I stated at the forum that I provided 24 hour coverage with a 5 man department, I could do the same coverage with a 13 man department." I am assuming he is referencing the Tama Police Department as the five man department.
During my employment at the department, there was a two hour gap of no coverage at least one to two days a week. I know this personally because for several years I was the overnight car that took calls from my residence during the gap in coverage. Intentional or not, Bryan wasn't accurate with his statement of the Tama Police Department being a 24 hour service while he was employed there.
In the same Letter to the Editor he stated that he researched and found that several counties are able to provide 24 hour coverage in the state. That certainly would be possible given some of the much larger agencies that he has listed and shouldn't really be used as a comparison to Tama County.
I also would like to point out with Bryan's push on this gap coverage issue, now the criminal element are aware that there is a small gap in coverage. It is quite possible that they might exploit this to their advantage. Sheriff Kucera has deputies residing in cities and towns throughout Tama County for a multitude of reasons. One of the most important reasons is that there is a deputy able to respond to a call that is closest to them at any given time. With that said, an on-duty deputy called to an incident could be on the opposite side of the county. Under the current system a deputy who lives closer could respond faster from their residence.