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Mason City Police Department creating new position to help victims of property crimes

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City this week approved the job description and recruitment process for a new position in the city’s police department that will help victims of crimes.

Police Chief Jeff Brinkley says the position will support victims of property crimes similar to the way that Crisis Intervention Service provides support to victims of crimes against persons.  “Lt. Logan Wernet and Mary Ingham at Crisis Intervention Service came up with this application last year and their idea was improving the customer service level for us at the police department, having somebody who on the back side of this stuff actually follows up to try to get crime victim compensation, a voice for victims in court, negotiates and helps support people in that role. Sometimes with the county attorney they’re doing a crime victim impact statement, particularly with burglary and some of those other crimes that are somewhat personal, they’re not necessarily a crime against a person, but there can be a real feeling there with victims that there’s not a lot of support at times.”

Brinkley says the position should better help the department address property crimes.  “Sometimes when we’re busy taking calls and trying to keep up everyday, we sometimes drop the ball in that follow-up. We really feel like this will be a real asset to the department. We’re also looking at some potential crime mapping, a little bit of crime analysis for this position, that would help us as well and trying to make an impact in on some of those parts of town where we need it.”

Brinkley says this position will help address some heavy workload situations they’ve been dealing with.  “I think this will be a good force multiplier for us in terms of some of that light follow-up work that needs to happen with victims. Getting statements, sometimes getting video from retail establishments, some of those locations where it just takes time to get some of that stuff done. Sometimes that needs to be during regular business hours. When you are working a 3:00-11:00 shift, you only get two hours of the day that the business is open, they close at 5:00 sometimes. Yeah, I think it will be a real asset.”

The Mason City Police Department last year was awarded an Officer for Victims of Crime grant for the position. The grant will provide $90,000 a year for three years. This was one of eight awards around the country to agencies with less than 100 officers.

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