Linn County Sheriff's Office
Award Year: 2020
Safety Category: Comprehensive Safety
Additional Award Year:
Linn County (IA) Sheriff’s Office has 204 employees, 133 full time sworn, 25 reserve deputies
SUMMARY: Linn County is the second largest county in the state of Iowa. As a sheriff’s office, Sheriff Brian Gardner oversees patrol, the county jail, civil process, marine patrol, search and rescue and courthouse security.
OFFICER SAFETY– LCSO issues custom fit body armor and requires deputies to wear it. All deputies are issued expandable batons, pepper spray and Tasers. All deputies are required to wear body worn cameras (BWCs).
All deputies are issued external defibrillating Devices (AEDs) and since 2010, ten deputies have received Life Saving Awards for their application of the AED and CPR to save the lives of cardiac victims.
In 2018 the agency issued Narcan to all deputies to use for subjects displaying the effects of an opioid overdose. To date, deputies have saved the lives of two patients experiencing opioid overdoses.
LCSO also issues “downed deputy kits” which contain tourniquets, quick clot, sucking chest wound patches. Since then deputies responded to reports of a man who had severely cut his leg with a chain saw. Deputies responded and applied first aid and a tourniquet and were credited with saving the man’s life.
In each LCSO patrol vehicle is a patrol rifle, shotgun and a “Go Vest” containing additional pistol and rifle magazines shotgun shells and first aid equipment for active shooter situations. LCSO was the leader in obtaining radio systems that allow all county agencies to communicate.
LCSO has implemented officer safe driving training and actively monitors deputy speeds and crashes. Deputies also receive police driver training at Hawkeye Downs Motor Speedway, which is located in Linn County. Since 2012, deputies were involved in 181 crashes, only two of which were the fault of a LCSO deputy.
LCSO also has a bomb squad, a Bearcat bullet resistant vehicle capable of transport of deputies into dangerous scenes and rescue the wounded, and a vehicle they call Rescue 57, which is staffed by paramedic-trained deputies who are available to respond to medical emergencies while on regular patrol.
In the area of officer wellness, LCSO has a peer-to-peer support unit and an EAP program. LCSO has a state of the art gym and employees are allowed to access the gym 24/7/365. LCSO has financial incentives for staff who participate in wellness programs.
The state of Iowa requires deputies complete 12 hours of training per year and corrections deputies complete 20 hours per year. In the last two years, LCSO has averaged 139 hours each year for deputies and 92 hours each year for correctional deputies. LCSO also has high education requirements for supervisory and command staff, but assists with tuition and provides the highest levels of outside training including the FBI National Academy, MAGNUS Command College and Northwest School of Police Staff and Command, just to name a few.