Law Enforcement asks Ottumwa City Council, Wapello County Board for support on new CAD dispatch

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 9:04 PM CDT
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OTTUMWA, Iowa (KYOU) - Tuesday night, law enforcement brought a presentation to both the City Council and Wapello County Board of Supervisors about a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system shared across departments. Heads of each department say it would help efficiency between them. It would also be shared with the fire departments, EMA, EMS, and jail.

Ottumwa’s Police Chief called it a “time saver” at the meeting, especially as he says law enforcement is seeing an increase in calls for service.

While they eventually want to look at using American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds to pay the several hundred thousand dollars the system would cost, Tuesday night they were just looking for support.

And they found it - with several council members saying they were in favor of it. Council member Matt Dalbey says it’s a good use for ARPA money “those types of moneys should be spent on types of things we can’t normally do. That are important and necessary to the community. And public safety is - if not the biggest part of the community - the most important.” Law enforcement will continue to present their CAD system idea to various organizations for funding.


Meet Ottumwa’s Executive Director Andy Wartenberg gave a quarterly report on the rebranded “Meet Ottumwa”. One of his highlights was the Babe Ruth World Series bringing in around $2.6 million to Ottumwa. Wartenburg says it’s encouraged him to look for ways to attract future sports tournaments to Ottumwa.

That’s as he says Meet Ottumwa is still recovering from the effects COVID-19 had on tourism in the City. He says the organization is “doing better” this year, and expects a big check for the first quarter.

He also shared some ideas Meet Ottumwa is working on, such as the plan to market the hotel coming next to Bridge View Center, wanting to build excitement for the events they’ll be able to bring to Ottumwa.

As well as an esports gaming event named OG CON. The Executive Director explains it’s something they’re going to build from scratch. “The idea behind this is to grow it organically and have it become a big event for Ottumwa.”


And there are new plans to improve Greater Ottumwa Park. City staff are looking at developing a master plan to bring the park’s amenities up to the vision in the 2040 Comprehensive Plan.

Developing the plan will cost between $183,875 to $215,875 - and will take nine months to complete. In that time, the public will have several opportunities for input.

The Legacy Foundation is considering a contribution of $70,000 to the plan, and the City has proposed using capitol improvement funding for it.

That’s as a sport complex is planned to be built at the park, something the Zach Simonson, the Community Development Director, says would be benefited by park improvements. “If were able to take that entire area and provide the level of amenities that we want to, I would see that as feeding the indoor sports complex long-term. It would help it be sustainable because it would be part of that hub.” The Council voted in favor, 4-0.

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