MPD Records clerk retires after 30 years

T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY -Former Marshalltown Police Department Records Clerk Anne Davis is pictured with a favorite memento. She retired last week after 30 years of service.

For Anne Davis it’s time to get out on a motorcycle or her Cannondale bicycle, visit her children and grandchildren and just have fun.

The Marshalltown Police Department Records Clerk retired last week after 30 years at the job.

She said matter-of-factly she will not be like other retirees who “unretire” after a period and re-enter the workforce.

“I worked long enough,” the 66-year-old said.

For those 30 years, Davis was one of a number of civilians performing critical jobs behind the scenes at MPD headquarters.

Before taking over records clerk duties 22 years ago, she started as a communications operator in 1985.

“The job required typing skills, she said, because we typed everything in. And one had to have legible handwriting too, because we logged everything in by hand. This was before computers. We did have a reel to reel which recorded everything.”

There were would be other learning opportunities.

“One of my first challenges was to learn Marshalltown streets,” she said. “I grew up on a farm in the Clemons-St. Anthony area and also lived in Melbourne. As a lay person, one can give directions using landmarks. When serving as dispatcher, one must be exact.”

That is when the MPD and Marshall County Sheriff’s Office had separate dispatchers.

Those duties were merged years ago, and are now performed 24/7 by E-911 Communications Center operators in the MPD headquarters basement.

“I worked shifts as a communications operator for five years, then took approximately two and one-half years off,” she said. “I returned as operator and worked another three years before transitioning to records clerk. I took the records clerk job to get away from shift work.”

However, the straight-days job required her to be an early riser, departing from her State Center home in time to arrive by 6:30 a.m.

“My first task of the day required me to file arrest records with the Clerk of Court for judges to review before presiding over defendants’ initial appearances” she said. “Later in the day, it was organizing, and making sure all of the officers’ written incident reports were correct … making sure everything is reading right. We have software that submits our crime statistics to the state. What we put in must be accurate … that takes up a big part of the day. We also do fingerprinting and taking of mug shots, and submitting those to the Iowa Department of Criminal Investigation.”

Davis worked four-10 hour days with Friday off.

The new joint Police and Fire facility in the 900 block of South 2nd Street, currently under construction, will be a great addition for MPD employees, she said.

“This building (22 N. Center St.) has been a challenge,” she said. “I have done many, many trips up and down these old stairs because we house our old records upstairs. Before we got so deeply into the software to where it houses our files easier … everything was kept upstairs. So we would have to haul old records upstairs every two or three years. It was quite a job for awhile”

Davis pointed out there is no elevator and portions of the third floor ceiling is falling down and basement area, where E-911 operators work, is susceptible to flooding after heaving rains.

“I think they are going to have a good time in the new building,” she said laughing. “it is always nice to work in a pleasant facility. And I will miss the people who work at the MPD. It is a good group.”

During her tenure, she had the opportunity to work for several chiefs of police.

She quickly fired off names.

“Chiefs MIke Tupper, Interim Chief Jack McCallister, Chief Lon Walker, Interim Chief Dave Joswiak and Chief Jim Wilkinson,” she said. “I started under Wikinson.”

Tupper was effusive in his praise of Davis.

“Anne Davis has served our community with pride and professionalism,” Tupper said. “She has done a fantastic job of leading our organization through several changes in how our department processes and stores police records. She has worked tirelessly to professionalize and modernize our records unit operations. Anne has been a critically important team member and has been a big part of all of the success we have experienced as an organization. We wish her well as she moves into retirement. We will also miss her greatly. She leaves big shoes to fill. And I appreciate everything she has done for the MPD and our community.”

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Contact Mike Donahey at

641-753-6611 or mdonahey@timesrepublican.com