‘It takes its toll’: Iowa police departments facing staff shortages after year of civil unrest


FILE – In this June 3, 2020, file photo, protesters rally in Phoenix, demanding the Phoenix City Council defund the Phoenix Police Department, following the death of George Floyd. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

Part 1: Iowa police departments facing staff shortages after year of civil unrest

Law enforcement officers are under more scrutiny than ever after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd in 2020. Some people are quitting their jobs or not even applying in the first place. Fairfield, Atlantic, Ankeny, Creston, Fort Dodge, Muscatine, Perry and Waverly are among the Iowa communities that need more personnel.

Since Floyd’s death, communities across the United States have demanded change, accountability and improved relations between people of color and police officers who are often white. Two Iowa law enforcement leaders discussed the challenges currently facing their departments and how they think policing will improve.

Part 2: Iowa Starting Line’s new mission fighting online misinformation

Iowa Starting Line, a progressive news website, is now part of a national operation. Courier Newsroom, a 501(c)(4) national organization operating in swing states, bought Iowa Starting Line from founder Pat Rynard. He says Iowa Starting Line’s focus will still be providing news from the perspective of the political left, but its new mission will also take on misinformation that so quickly spreads online.

Part 3: Iowa’s umpire shortage amid unruly fan behavior

Iowa is facing an umpire shortage across the state. Some sporting events have had to reschedule or be played despite not having enough officials.

Some Iowans aren’t officiating because of COVID-19 health concerns, retirement or family obligations, but some newer officials don’t want to take the abuse that some fans and parents direct at them in today’s environment.

Insiders Quick 6: Pat Rynard

How many Democratic candidates can we expect in two high-profile Iowa races next year? Pat Rynard shares his thoughts. 

Watch previous episodes of The Insiders here.

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