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Drive anywhere in the state and you’re sure to come across one of Iowa’s 373 State Troopers. For the past 85 years these men and women have proudly served Iowa.

Unfortunately, earlier this month, one Trooper lost his life protecting others. Sgt. Jim Smith was killed in the line of duty on April 9th. He was a 27-year veteran of the Patrol and is the 11th State Trooper to die in the line of duty. Thousands of Iowans took the time to honor Sgt. Smith for his sacrifice.


It is important we continue to remember and acknowledge the work the Iowa State Patrol does every day. The Patrol is not just the officers you regularly see, it also includes;

  • Technical collision and crash reconstruction investigators
  • Crisis negotiators
  • Police service dog unit
  • Air wing
  • Public resources officers
  • Tactical teams
  • Honor guard

In 2020, Officers worked countless hours to provide a variety of services to Iowa. Here are a few 2020 facts from the patrol;

The Iowa State Patrol worked 14,105 hours of Civil Disturbance response.

Patrol Air Wing pilots flew 64 search missions and 51 hours relaying personnel, equipment and/or medical supplies/specimens and conducted 122 special flight missions and 522 total flights.

The Iowa State Patrol Police Service Dog Unit conducted 52 deployments.

Crisis Negotiators responded to 51 calls for service.  In 21 of the 51 incidents, the subject involved was armed with a firearm.  Of the 51 callouts recorded:

  • 16 Were Tactical team warrant assists
  • 2 incidents involved the taking of a hostage(s)
  • 24 incidents involved a person in crisis/suicidal
  • 8 incidents stemmed from a domestic disturbance
  • 16 incidents were resolved by an Iowa State Patrol Crisis Negotiator
  • 28 incidents were resolved by a variety of other means that include peaceful surrender, disengaging from the incident or tactically.

In 2020, The Iowa State Patrol Tactical Teams responded to 78 high-risk calls for service assisting local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. This is up from (57) calls in 2019 and (47) in 2018.

We are forever grateful to the men and women who risk their lives every day to keep Iowans safe.

Author: Garrett Gobble


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