The Dyersville chief of police told the council Monday his department’s relatively low compensation rates compared to surrounding areas are causing officers to seek employment elsewhere.
In what seems to be a growing trend, two more Dyersville police officers have chosen to go to different departments, bringing the total number of resignations to five since July.
Full-time officer Zack Lacy and part-time officer Kyle Howe both submitted their resignations to the council Monday night.
Lacy, who had been with the Dyersville P.D. since April 2017, was sworn into the Peosta Police Department by a former colleague and current Peosta Chief of Police, Mike Comer, earlier last month.
Comer took the chief position in July and another former Dyersville officer, Wade Cosselman, followed suit to take on the role of Farley’s chief of police in November.
However, the Dyersville P.D. did hire Farley’s former police chief, Molly Dupont, in August, but with the departure of Lacy and Cosselman, there are still currently two vacant full-time positions.
Dyersville Police Chief Brent Schroeder thanked the officers for their service and said he believes it speaks volumes to the quality training provided by Dyersville, which makes its officers so desirable to other departments.
But, he said, it does speak poorly that all of these officers are choosing employment elsewhere because of compensation.
“All of these officers are leaving for more money,” Schroeder said of the department’s current wage structure, “and I think that is going to have to be evaluated in the very near future.”
Councilman Mike Oberbroeckling wanted to address some rumors and misconceptions he had been hearing around town concerning the departure of these officers in the last six months.
Oberbroeckling said he had several people voice concern that all of these young officers come to Dyersville, get certified and then leave, all at the cost of the taxpayer, but Schroeder said that’s not the case.
In the most recent case, Schroeder confirmed that Lacy had come to Dyersville already certified, so there was no cost on behalf of the city for the academy.
In other scenarios, Schroeder said when hiring new officers, they use the standard union contract, which states that if an officer is sent to be certified by Dyersville but then leaves before two years, that cost would either be reimbursed by the individual or the department to which they are transferring.
“The bottom line is that kind of dispels the rumor going around that we pay for all the training and then they go somewhere else and we’re stuck holding the bill,” Oberbroeckling said.
Schroeder said that is true of the academy costs, but these officers still receive in-house training from the department.