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C) Chapters 35 through 38 – Police, Fire and Emergencies



35.01 Department Established 35.08 Compensation
35.02 Organization 35.09 Police Chief Appointed
35.03 Peace Officer Qualifications 35.10 Powers and Duties of Police Chief
35.04 Required Training 35.11 Code Compliance Powers and Duties
35.05 Residency Requirements 35.12 Departmental Rules
35.06 Uniforms and Badges 35.13 Summoning Aid
35.07 Special Circumstances 35.14 Taking Weapons

35.01    DEPARTMENT ESTABLISHED.  The Police Department of the City is established to provide for the preservation of peace and enforcement of law and ordinances within the corporate limits of the City.

35.02    ORGANIZATION.  The department consists of the Police Chief and such other law enforcement officers and personnel, whether full or part time, as may be authorized by the Council.  The Mayor may deputize persons to serve as additional police officers and police matrons when circumstances so require.

35.03    PEACE OFFICER QUALIFICATIONS.  In no case shall any person be selected or appointed as a law enforcement officer unless such person meets the minimum qualification standards established by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 80B.11)

35.04    REQUIRED TRAINING.  All peace officers shall have received the minimum training required by law at an approved law enforcement training school within one year of employment.  Peace officers shall also meet the minimum in-service training as required by law.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 80B.11[2])

(IAC, 501-3 and 501-8)

35.05    RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS.  To ensure the ability of a police officer to respond to calls for emergency duty within a reasonable time, the Police Chief and the City Council shall consider for appointment and approval of full-time Police Department personnel only those who live within seven miles of the City limits of Belle Plaine.  The City Council may waive the residency requirement if they approve the officer for special circumstances as set out in Section 35.07 below by a majority vote of the Council.  The Police Chief is required, as a condition of his or her employment, to reside within the City limits.

35.06    UNIFORMS AND BADGES.  Each member of the Police Department, while serving during the regular hours of duty assigned to such officer, shall at all times wear a uniform garment and in plain view a metal badge engraved with the name of said member’s office.

35.07    SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.  The Council, on a case-by-case basis, may approve an officer to reside outside the seven-mile limit from the City limits of Belle Plaine if the Council votes to approve the existence of special circumstances for the officer in question.  This finding of special circumstance must be one that makes the meeting of the residency requirement overly burdensome or economically impossible.  As part of the finding of special circumstance, the City may, at the Council’s discretion, require the officer to sign a contract for employment that may specify the length of employment.

35.08    COMPENSATION.  Members of the department are designated by rank and receive such compensation as shall be determined by resolution of the Council.

35.09    POLICE CHIEF APPOINTED.  The Council shall appoint and dismiss the Police Chief.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 400.13)

35.10    POWERS AND DUTIES OF POLICE CHIEF.  The Police Chief has the following powers and duties subject to the approval of the Council.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

  1. Perform all duties required of the Police Chief by law or ordinance.
  2. Enforce Laws. Enforce all laws, ordinances, and regulations and bring all persons committing any offense before the proper court.
  3. Execute and return all writs and other processes directed to the Police Chief.
  4. Accident Reports. Report all motor vehicle accidents investigated to the State Department of Transportation.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321.266)

  1. Be responsible for the custody of prisoners, including conveyance to detention facilities as may be required.
  2. Assist Officials. When requested, provide aid to other City officers, boards, and commissions in the execution of their official duties.
  3. Provide for such investigation as may be necessary for the prosecution of any person alleged to have violated any law or ordinance.
  4. Record of Arrests. Keep a record of all arrests made in the City by showing whether said arrests were made under provisions of State law or City ordinance, the offense charged, who made the arrest and the disposition of the charge.
  5. Compile and submit to the Mayor and Council an annual report as well as such other reports as may be requested by the Mayor or Council.
  6. Be in command of all officers appointed for police work and be responsible for the care, maintenance, and use of all vehicles, equipment, and materials of the department.

35.11    CODE COMPLIANCE POWERS AND DUTIES.  The Police Department shall also have the following powers and duties:

  1. Exercise all enforcement powers under this Code of Ordinances, including (but not limited to) the investigation of complaints, issuance of notices and municipal infraction citations to violators, and the preparation and submission to the legal department of reports of violations that continue unabated after exhaustion of reasonable administrative remedies toward their abatement, for such legal action as the facts of each report may require.
  2. In all cases in which the City commences court action, cooperate with the City Attorney’s office by performing such additional investigative work as the City Attorney’s office may require.
  3. Attend the meetings of the City Council as requested, investigate and review all cases presented to the City Council, and advise the Council on those cases upon request.
  4. If the legal department, after analysis of the report, institutes legal proceedings, cooperate fully with the legal department in the perfecting of such proceedings.
  5. Provide a written determination regarding the application of this Code of Ordinances and related regulations to a specific person requesting such information.

35.12    DEPARTMENTAL RULES.  The Police Chief shall establish such rules, not in conflict with the Code of Ordinances, and subject to the approval of the Council, as may be necessary for the operation of the department.

35.13    SUMMONING AID.  Any peace officer making a legal arrest may orally summon as many persons as the officer reasonably finds necessary to aid the officer in making the arrest.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 804.17)

35.14    TAKING WEAPONS.  Any person who makes an arrest may take from the person arrested all items that are capable of causing bodily harm which the arrested person may have within such person’s control, to be disposed of according to law.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 804.18)

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36.01 Establishment of Force 36.07 No Reduction of Regular Force
36.02 Training 36.08 Compensation
36.03 Status of Reserve Officers 36.09 Benefits When Injured
36.04 Carrying Weapons 36.10 Liability and False Arrest Insurance
36.05 Supplementary Capacity 36.11 No Participation in Pension Fund or Retirement
36.06 Supervision of Officers                  System

36.01    ESTABLISHMENT OF FORCE.  A force of reserve peace officers is hereby established.  A reserve peace officer is a volunteer, non-regular, sworn member of the Police Department who will serve with or without compensation and has regular police powers while functioning as the Police Department’s representative, and will participate on a regular basis in the agency’s activities, including those of crime prevention and control, preservation of the peace and enforcement of the law.

36.02    TRAINING.  Training for individuals appointed as reserve peace officers shall be provided by instructors in a community college or other facility, including a law enforcement agency, selected by the individual and approved by the law enforcement agency and the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.  All standards and training required under Chapter 80D of the Code of Iowa constitute the minimum standards for reserve peace officers.  Upon satisfactory completion of training, the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy shall certify the individual as a reserve peace officer.  There shall be no exemptions from the personal and training standards provided for in this chapter.

36.03    STATUS OF RESERVE OFFICERS.  Reserve peace officers shall serve as peace officers on the orders and at the discretion of the Police Chief.  While in the actual performance of official duties, reserve peace officers shall be vested with the same rights, privileges, obligations and duties as any other peace officer.

36.04    CARRYING WEAPONS.  A member of the reserve force shall not carry a weapon in the line of duty until he or she has been approved by the Council and certified by the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy Council.  After approval and certification, a reserve peace officer may carry a weapon in the line of duty only when authorized by the Police Chief.

36.05    SUPPLEMENTARY CAPACITY.  Reserve peace officers shall act only in a supplementary capacity to the regular force and shall not assume full-time duties of regular peace officers without first complying with all the requirements of regular peace officers.

36.06    SUPERVISION OF OFFICERS.  Reserve peace officers shall be subordinate to the Police Chief, shall not serve as peace officers unless under the direction of the Police Chief, and shall wear a uniform prescribed by the Police Chief, unless that superior officer designates alternate apparel for use when engaged in assignments involving special investigations, civil process, court duties, jail duties and the handling of mental patients.  The reserve peace officer shall not wear an insignia of rank.

36.07    NO REDUCTION OF REGULAR FORCE.  There shall be no reduction of the authorized size of the regular law enforcement department of the City because of the establishment or utilization of reserve peace officers.

36.08    COMPENSATION.  While performing official duties, each reserve peace officer shall be considered an employee of the City and shall be paid a minimum of $1.00 per year.  The Council may provide additional monetary assistance for the purchase and maintenance of uniforms and equipment used by reserve peace officers.

36.09    BENEFITS WHEN INJURED.  Hospital and medical assistance and benefits, as provided in Chapter 85 of the Code of Iowa, shall be provided by the Council to members of the reserve force who sustain injury in the course of performing official duties.

36.10    LIABILITY AND FALSE ARREST INSURANCE.  Liability and false arrest insurance shall be provided by the City to members of the reserve force while performing official duties in the same manner as for regular peace officers.

36.11    NO PARTICIPATION IN PENSION FUND OR RETIREMENT SYSTEM.  This chapter shall not be construed to authorize or permit a reserve peace officer to become eligible for participation in a pension fund or retirement system created by the laws of the State and of which regular peace officers may become members.




37.01 Establishment and Purpose 37.09 Obedience to Fire Chief
37.02 Organization 37.10 Constitution
37.03 Approved by Council 37.11 Accidental Injury Insurance
37.04 Training 37.12 Liability Insurance
37.05 Compensation 37.13 Calls Outside City
37.06 Selecting Fire Chief 37.14 Mutual Aid
37.07 Fire Chief Appointed 37.15 Authority to Cite Violations
37.08 Duties of Fire Chief  

37.01    ESTABLISHMENT AND PURPOSE.  A volunteer fire department is hereby established to prevent and extinguish fires and to protect lives and property against fires, to promote fire prevention and fire safety, and to answer all emergency calls for which there is no other established agency.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.16)

37.02    ORGANIZATION.  The department consists of the Fire Chief and such other officers and personnel as may be authorized by the Council.  The membership of the Fire Department shall at no time exceed 40 members, and the department shall determine its own membership, subject only to this restriction.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

37.03    APPROVED BY COUNCIL.  No person having otherwise qualified shall be appointed to the department until such appointment is submitted to and approved by a majority of the Council members.

37.04    TRAINING.  All members of the department shall meet the minimum training standards established by the State Fire Marshal and attend and actively participate in regular or special training drills or programs as directed by the Fire Chief.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100B.2[4])

37.05    COMPENSATION.  Members of the department shall be designated by rank and receive such compensation as shall be determined by resolution of the Council.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

37.06    SELECTING FIRE CHIEF.  The entire department shall hold a meeting at some time in the month of March in each year and shall ballot upon some member as Chief; when the choice of the department has been thus expressed and determined, the result shall be certified to the City Council, together with a recommendation that the person so designated shall be appointed Chief of the Fire Department for the ensuing year.  The Council, at its next regular meeting after the result has been so certified, shall receive such recommendation and certification and shall act thereon as hereinafter provided.

37.07    FIRE CHIEF APPOINTED.  The Fire Chief shall be appointed by the City Council on the first Monday in April of each year, or as soon thereafter as practicable, and shall hold office for a term of one year from and after the first Monday in April in each year and until a successor is duly appointed.  All appointments to the office of Fire Chief shall be made from the members of the Fire Department, and to enable the Council to make satisfactory appointment, no person shall be appointed to said office who has not previously received the endorsement of the Fire Department as provided above.

37.08    DUTIES OF FIRE CHIEF.  The Fire Chief shall perform all duties required of the Fire Chief by law or ordinance, including (but not limited to) the following:

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 372.13[4])

  1. Enforce Laws. Enforce ordinances and laws regulating fire prevention and the investigation of the cause, origin, and circumstances of fires.
  2. Technical Assistance. Upon request, give advice concerning private fire alarm systems, fire extinguishing equipment, fire escapes and exits, and development of fire emergency plans.
  3. Authority at Fires. When in charge of a fire scene, direct an operation as necessary to extinguish or control a fire, perform a rescue operation, investigate the existence of a suspected or reported fire, gas leak, or other hazardous condition, or take any other action deemed necessary in the reasonable performance of the department’s duties.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.2)

  1. Control of Scenes. Prohibit an individual, vehicle, or vessel from approaching a fire scene and remove from the scene any object, vehicle, vessel, or individual that may impede or interfere with the operation of the Fire Department.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.2)

  1. Authority to Barricade. When in charge of a fire scene, place or erect ropes, guards, barricades, or other obstructions across a street, alley, right-of-way, or private property near the location of the fire or emergency so as to prevent accidents or interference with the firefighting efforts of the Fire Department, to control the scene until any required investigation is complete, or to preserve evidence related to the fire or other emergency.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 102.3)

  1. Be charged with the duty of maintaining the efficiency, discipline, and control of the Fire Department.  The members of the Fire Department shall, at all times, be subject to the direction of the Fire Chief.
  2. Exercise and have full control over the disposition of all fire apparatus, tools, equipment, and other property used by or belonging to the Fire Department.
  3. Whenever death, serious bodily injury, or property damage in excess of $200,000.00 has occurred as a result of a fire, or if arson is suspected, notify the State Fire Marshal’s Division immediately.  For all other fires causing an estimated damage of $50.00 or more or emergency responses by the Fire Department, file a report with the Fire Marshal’s Division within 10 days following the end of the month.  The report shall indicate all fire incidents occurring and state the name of the owners and occupants of the property at the time of the fire, the value of the property, the estimated total loss to the property, origin of the fire as determined by investigation, and other facts, statistics, and circumstances concerning the fire incidents.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.2 & 100.3)

  1. Right of Entry. Have the right, during reasonable hours, to enter any building or premises within the Fire Chief’s jurisdiction for the purpose of making such investigation or inspection that under law or ordinance may be necessary to be made and that is reasonably necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.12)

  1. Make such recommendations to owners, occupants, caretakers, or managers of buildings necessary to eliminate fire hazards.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.13)

  1. Assist State Fire Marshal. At the request of the State Fire Marshal, and as provided by law, aid said marshal in the performance of duties by investigating, preventing and reporting data pertaining to fires.
  2. Cause to be kept records of the Fire Department personnel, firefighting equipment, depreciation of all equipment and apparatus, the number of responses to alarms, their cause, and location, and an analysis of losses by value, type and location of buildings.
  3. Compile and submit to the Mayor and Council an annual report of the status and activities of the department as well as such other reports as may be requested by the Mayor or Council.

37.09    OBEDIENCE TO FIRE CHIEF.  No person shall willfully fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of the Fire Chief.

37.10    CONSTITUTION.  The department shall adopt a constitution and bylaws as they deem calculated to accomplish the object contemplated, and such constitution and bylaws and any change or amendment to such constitution and bylaws before being effective, must be approved by the Council.

37.11    ACCIDENTAL INJURY INSURANCE.  The Council shall contract to insure the City against liability for worker’s compensation and against statutory liability for the costs of hospitalization, nursing, and medical attention for volunteer firefighters injured in the performance of their duties as firefighters whether within or outside the corporate limits of the City.  All volunteer firefighters shall be covered by the contract.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 85.2, 85.61 and Sec. 410.18)

37.12    LIABILITY INSURANCE.  The Council shall contract to insure against liability of the City or members of the department for injuries, death or property damage arising out of and resulting from the performance of departmental duties within or outside the corporate limits of the City.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 670.2 & 517A.1)

37.13    CALLS OUTSIDE CITY.  The department shall answer calls to fires and other emergencies outside the City limits and in the areas covered by the terms of a Joint Fire Agreement entered into by the City and the Boards of Trustees of Kane, Iowa, Honey Creek, Salt Creek, and Jefferson Townships, if the Fire Chief determines that such emergency exists and that such action will not endanger persons and property within the City limits.  The Fire Chief or officer in charge shall also authorize the dispatch of fire equipment to other cities with which the City has mutual aid agreements.   Those cities are:  Blairstown, Chelsea, Elberon, Marengo, Victor, and Luzerne.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4[2 & 3])

37.14    MUTUAL AID.  Subject to approval by resolution of the Council, the department may enter into mutual aid agreements with other legally constituted fire departments.  Copies of any such agreements shall be filed with the Clerk.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 364.4[2 & 3])

37.15    AUTHORITY TO CITE VIOLATIONS.  Fire officials acting under the authority of Chapter 100 of the Code of Iowa may issue citations in accordance to Chapter 805 of the Code of Iowa, for violations of State and/or local fire safety regulations.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 100.41)




38.01 Purpose 38.05 Notifications
38.02 Definitions 38.06 Police Authority
38.03 Cleanup Required 38.07 Liability
38.04 Liability for Cleanup Costs  

38.01    PURPOSE.  In order to reduce the danger to the public health, safety, and welfare from the leaks and spills of hazardous substances, these regulations are promulgated to establish responsibility for the treatment, removal and cleanup of hazardous substance spills within the City limits.

38.02    DEFINITIONS.  For purposes of this chapter the following terms are defined:

  1. “Cleanup” means actions necessary to contain, collect, control, identify, analyze, clean up, treat, disperse, remove, or dispose of a hazardous substance.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.381[1])

  1. “Hazardous condition” means any situation involving the actual, imminent, or probable spillage, leakage, or release of a hazardous substance onto the land, into a water of the State, or into the atmosphere which creates an immediate or potential danger to the public health or safety or to the environment.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.381[4])

  1. “Hazardous substance” means any substance or mixture of substances that presents a danger to the public health or safety and includes, but is not limited to, a substance that is toxic, corrosive, or flammable, or that is an irritant or that generates pressure through decomposition, heat, or other means. “Hazardous substance” may include any hazardous waste identified or listed by the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency under the Solid Waste Disposal Act as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976, or any toxic pollutant listed under Section 307 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as amended to January 1, 1977, or any hazardous substance designated under Section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act as amended to January 1, 1977, or any hazardous material designated by the Secretary of Transportation under the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.381[5])

  1. “Responsible person” means a person who at any time produces, handles, stores, uses, transports, refines, or disposes of a hazardous substance, the release of which creates a hazardous condition, including bailees, carriers, and any other person in control of a hazardous substance when a hazardous condition occurs, whether the person owns the hazardous substance or is operating under a lease, contract, or other agreement with the legal owner of the hazardous substance.

(Code of Iowa, Sec. 455B.381[7])

38.03    CLEANUP REQUIRED.  Whenever a hazardous condition is created by the deposit, injection, dumping, spilling, leaking or placing of a hazardous substance, so that the hazardous substance or a constituent of the hazardous substance may enter the environment or be emitted into the air or discharged into any waters, including ground waters, the responsible person shall cause the condition to be remedied by a cleanup, as defined in the preceding section, as rapidly as feasible to an acceptable, safe condition.  The costs of cleanup shall be borne by the responsible person.  If the responsible person does not cause the cleanup to begin in a reasonable time in relation to the hazard and circumstances of the incident, the City may, by an authorized officer, give reasonable notice, based on the character of the hazardous condition, said notice setting a deadline for accomplishing the cleanup and stating that the City will proceed to procure cleanup services and bill the responsible person for all costs associated with the cleanup if the cleanup is not accomplished within the deadline.  In the event that it is determined that immediate cleanup is necessary as a result of the present danger to the public health, safety and welfare, then no notice shall be required and the City may proceed to procure the cleanup and bill the responsible person for all costs associated with the cleanup.  If the bill for those services is not paid within 30 days, the City Attorney shall proceed to obtain payment by all legal means.  If the cost of the cleanup is beyond the capacity of the City to finance it, the authorized officer shall report to the Council and immediately seek any State or federal funds available for said cleanup.

38.04    LIABILITY FOR CLEANUP COSTS.  The responsible person shall be strictly liable to the City for all of the following:

  1. The reasonable cleanup costs incurred by the City or the agents of the City as a result of the failure of the responsible person to clean up a hazardous substance involved in a hazardous condition.
  2. The reasonable costs incurred by the City or the agents of the City to evacuate people from the area threatened by a hazardous condition caused by the person.
  3. The reasonable damages to the City for the injury to, destruction of, or loss of City property, including parks and roads, resulting from a hazardous condition caused by that person, including the costs of assessing the injury, destruction or loss.
  4. The excessive and extraordinary cost incurred by the City or the agents of the City in responding at and to the scene of a hazardous condition caused by that person.


  1. A person manufacturing, storing, handling, transporting, or disposing of a hazardous substance shall notify the State Department of Natural Resources and the Police Chief or Police Department of the occurrence of a hazardous condition as soon as possible but not later than six hours after the onset of the hazardous condition or discovery of the hazardous condition. The Police Chief or Police Department shall immediately notify the Department of Natural Resources.
  2. Any other person who discovers a hazardous condition shall notify the Police Chief or Police Department, which shall then notify the Department of Natural Resources.

38.06    POLICE AUTHORITY.  If the circumstances reasonably so require, the law enforcement officer or an authorized representative may:

  1. Evacuate persons from their homes to areas away from the site of a hazardous condition, and
  2. Establish perimeters or other boundaries at or near the site of a hazardous condition and limit access to cleanup personnel.

No person shall disobey an order of any law enforcement officer issued under this section.

38.07    LIABILITY.  The City shall not be liable to any person for claims of damages, injuries, or losses resulting from any hazardous condition, unless the City is the responsible person as defined in Section 37.02(4).

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