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Dallas Center Police Department

1402 Walnut Street, Dallas Center, IA 50063

Michelle R. Leonard, Chief of Police
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Phone 515-992-3086
Public Records, 911 Calls, Citizens' Letters

The Iowa Public Records Law states that the public must have access to the records of governmental agencies such as the monthly reports we post on this website (see the two top links at the right). The  law goes on to define what may be withheld from the public as "confidential".

A summary of the law and subsequent Attorney General bulletins applicable to law enforcement agencies give us three filters through which we decide what is and what is not public information:

1. All records, documents, tape, or other information, stored or preserved in any medium  that contain no confidential information are open records and must be released on request, except:

2. Records which are part of an open Investigation of a crime or incident are permitted to be withheld from the public as confidential, but the "date, time, specific location and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the crime or incident" may not be kept confidential, except:

3.  When disclosure of the "date, time, specific location and immediate facts and circumstances surrounding the crime or incident" would plainly and seriously jeopardize an open investigation or pose a clear and present danger to a person's safety, even that information may be withheld as confidential.

(The above is the author's interpretation of the law; for details of the law, see the links at the above right.)
Quick Info

Letters (Including Emails) from the Public

There is further protection for citizens who send us letters or emails, from the Attorney General's bulletin:

Many citizen letters are considered open records
. In fact, such letters must be available for examination and copying by others, if any of the following are true: (1) the person making the communication consents to disclosure; or (2) information in the communication can be disclosed without identifying the person who sent it; or, (3) information in the communication discloses facts surrounding a crime or illegal act, unless the disclosure would jeopardize an investigation or pose a danger to others. (Iowa Code section 22.7 (18).)

In some cases, citizen letters may be kept confidential. A public agency in Iowa may have discretion to keep communications from the public confidential, if all of the following are true: (1) the communication comes from a person outside of government; and (2) the communication is voluntary and not required by any law, rule or procedure; and (3) the government body could reasonably believe the public would be discouraged from communicating if the communications were available for public examination and copying.

Citizens who write to government bodies should be aware that their letters could be open for examination and copying by others. If confidentiality is important, citizens would be wise to say so in their letters. Government bodies can make better decisions about disclosing letters from the public if citizens communicate clearly about confidentiality.

Terms and Conditions

Some of the information accessed through this website are reports of the activities of the Dallas Center Police Department which are public information by Iowa law and are posted here for the public's convenience. No judgments should be made, nor should actions be taken, based solely on this information.

While the utmost effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, neither the Dallas Center Police Department nor the City of Dallas Center makes any warranty, representation or guaranty regarding its content, accuracy, timeliness or completeness.


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