April 22, 2024

Letter to the Editor: Senate File 2325

One of the more salient features of our world is that the average citizen has no clue what our legislature is up to until it’s done. This should not be the case since our legislature is there to serve the people of Iowa and we should all have some awareness of how they are accomplishing this. And for this purpose I am citing a portion of a new Senate File currently under consideration.

The Iowa Senate has introduced Senate File 2325 which will amend Chapter 400 of the Iowa Code. The new subsection 18 is worth stating:

“A city with a civil service commission established under Chapter 400 shall not adopt, enforce, or otherwise administer an ordinance, motion, resolution, or amendment, or use any other means, to establish a board or other entity for the purpose of citizen review of the conduct of police officers.”

And rightly so, I might add. We certainly don’t want the local citizens to have the ability to complain about local law enforcement. Just think what that would lead to - - chaos. Newton’s population fluctuates around 15,000 so the statute as proposed would prohibit the citizens of Newton from exercising oversight of the behavior of local law enforcement. Just think if people of a given community would be able to complain about the behavior of individual police officers, there would be no end of complaints and this is not something that can be tolerated. Our police are here to serve and protect.

For instance, what would happen if a given community decided that possession of marijuana should not be prosecuted as a crime. After all, Illinois, Missouri, and Minnesota have all legalized marijuana. We simply can’t have a bunch of citizens filing complaints about the enforcement of a law they don’t much care for. After all, and once again, the laws are meant to serve the citizens and if they don’t see the wisdom of certain laws, they should obtain some counseling or some such thing so they would have a better understanding of the purpose and intent of the laws that are passed.

The last thing we need are police officers afraid to give a speeding ticket for fear that some citizen will make a complaint to some citizen oversight board - - probably made up of a bunch of left-wingers who don’t like the police anyway. This is not something that can be tolerated. After all, just because you are a citizen doesn’t mean you should have any say in what laws are passed or how they are enforced.

Richard E. H. Phelps II