The Iowa State Patrol’s District 3 office in Council Bluffs and Post 6 in Spencer are two of seven Posts in Iowa that will be receiving a total of 8 Humvees designed to serve as emergency response vehicles. The tan-colored Humvees will be added to the State Patrol’s fleet through the military’s 1033 Program, which allow a transfer of military equipment to law enforcement agencies, in order to enhance operations. The vehicles are provided at no cost to the agency.
When a law enforcement agency no longer desires to retain the equipment, the property is returned to the military. Following the acquisition of the Humvees, the Iowa National Guard assisted the Department of Public Safety (DPS) by performing a maintenance inspection of each Humvee, making minimal repairs, and painting the vehicles. General fund dollars were not utilized to support the acquisition. The police equipment used to designate the Humvees as emergency vehicles was previously designated as surplus equipment due to the requirements of our newer Dodge patrol vehicles.
Following the crippling blizzard of December 19 & 20, 2012, DPS Commissioner Brian London asked DPS staff to develop alternatives for members of the Division of Criminal Investigation, Division of Narcotics Enforcement and State Fire Marshal’s Office non-uniformed officers to support the State Patrol Division during disaster operations. During the blizzard, the Department’s non-uniformed officers were unable to support State Troopers as they worked toward rescuing stranded motorists across Iowa. The limitations included the viability and mobility of the non-uniformed officers’ vehicles.
The State Patrol Division will coordinate the readiness of the Humvees and station the vehicles across the state for rapid deployment during blizzards, flooding, tornadoes, and other disaster or critical incident related operations. During these deployments, more than 80 sworn members across Department stand ready to operate the Humvees to augment the Department’s uniformed response. The State Patrol Division’s, Safety Education Unit will also use the Humvees occasionally to advance traffic and highway safety initiatives.
Currently, one Humvee is ready for deployment. Throughout the summer additional Humvees will be painted and up-fitted for deployment across the state. With the exception of Post 1 in Des Moines, the other six Iowa State Patrol Districts (Posts 3,6,8.9, 11 and 12). will receive one Humvee, each. Post 1 will get two of the former military vehicles.
The Humvee is available for viewing and photographs today (Friday, May 17th,) from 1-to 2-pm, at the Oran Pape Public Safety Building, 215 E 7th Street (Des Moines), and on Saturday, from 8-am until Noon, in cooperation with the annual Police Week Bridge display.