Lee County providing police protection in Montrose

UPDATED: June 11 at 8 a.m.

It's back to the drawing board for the city of Montrose and their search for a new police chief.

According to the Daily Gate City, the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council has rejected its prospective police chief candidate on the grounds that his certification ran out.

Montrose has been without a fully-certified officer since Police Chief Karl Judd resigned in February.

In the interim, the city is depending on a reserve officer as well as paying for services from Lee County Sheriff's Office.


ORIGINAL STORY: February 20 at 4:28 p.m.

Montrose Iowa is a quiet river town in Lee County of about 1,000 people and now, no police force.

The town's former police chief recently left the position for a better paying job in a nearby town. Now the search begins for someone to take his place.

"It's going to be a process where we interview and get the type of person that understands small town living," Montrose Mayor Bobby Reid said. "And we're all friendly here, we're all in this together and we want a police officer that understands that and is willing to come to Montrose and serve the people here in Montrose,"

Reid has been mayor since Jan. 1 and said the city is looking for someone that won't leave after just a couple of years. Until the post is filled, the Lee County Sheriff's Department will provide service, but that service will cost Montrose about $2500 dollars a month.

The old chief in Montrose was scheduled to make just over $25,000 this year and he he was in store for a three-percent raise this year.

"Budgets are tight especially in small communities and it's difficult to find an individual who will be willing to step in for the money the town can afford to pay," Lee County Sheriff Jim Sholl said. "Usually you will find an individual who is just beginning their career or at the end of their career that might want to wear the chief s hat for awhile. The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy also states the 28 E agreement they would sign for temporary protection is just that only temporary."

Sholl said he checked with state officials and they said one option would be that Montrose could share a chief with another small town. He says there's another town in Lee County that's also going to be in the market for a chief as well and that's one option that might be considered. But until a new chief is hired, the temporary agreement will have the sheriff's department being the police force for Montrose.