Bondurant - Public Safety Study

Masters of Public Affairs students in the School of Planning and Public Affairs conducted a study to provide decision-making support to Bondurant community leaders as they consider alternatives for public safety and law enforcement services.

The City of Bondurant currently relies on Polk County for public safety needs, including for crime, fire, animal control, and other calls that could potentially be received by a city police department. The City of Bondurant sought an assessment regarding the feasibility and consequences of transitioning from contracted law enforcement services with the Polk County Sheriff's Office to establishing an independent municipal police department, given the city’s projected future population growth. The graduate student team conducted a study to understand current community public safety needs and recommend actions regarding future law enforcement services in Bondurant.

The team began their study by conducting in-depth research consisting of academic literature reviews and policy expert interviews and creating a base of knowledge to support the decision-making process. They analyzed Polk County Sheriff's Department call data, focusing on calls initiated for the city of Bondurant, dividing them into different categories of call types. Next, they performed a cost-benefit analysis comparing contracted services to the policy alternative of establishing an independent police department within Bondurant. Lastly, the report provides a framework that Bondurant can utilize in the future to revisit this question and step-by-step toolkit for starting a municipal police department, if that were ever the preferred alternative.

Group of four people smile at at the camera, one man is wearing law enforcement gear.
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