MPACT shares first update with council
Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper spoke with a somber tone when introducing the first report from MPACT to the Marshalltown City Council during a regular meeting Monday.
First, Tupper acknowledged Sgt. Jim Smith, an Iowa State Patrol officer who was killed during a shootout in Grundy Center on Friday. Then he mentioned two other Iowa law enforcement officers who committed suicide in the last week. And he discussed the shooting of 20-year-old Duante Wright who was killed by police during a traffic stop in Minneapolis on Sunday.
“You saw what happened in Minnesota yesterday. It’s horrific,” Tupper said. “I hope our country doesn’t hold every cop to account for the mistake of that officer in Minnesota.”
The current state of the relationship between the public and law enforcement in the United States is exactly why MPACT — Marshalltown Police and Community Team — is such a needed program, Tupper said.
“We’re asking our cops to do too much,” Tupper said. “I’ve been screaming that from the mountain tops throughout my 17-year career in Iowa. If you’ve been listening to our country over the last year, they want programs like this. We’re doing it.”
Youth Shelter Services director David Hicks said the program is already showing positive results. Its community advocates have gone out on 42 calls. From those calls, 39 people have accepted help from MPACT, which includes being connected to different services in the community including mental health and substance abuse services.
“We had an adult male who is now getting in-patient substance abuse treatment,” Hicks said. “He said no and said no and they must have said the magic words because now he’s in treatment. He’s trying. It’s amazing the stories we’re hearing.”
Tupper told the council while the program is off to a great start, more time is needed to reach its full potential.
“We need to see what this program can do. We need more time to collect data so we can go after big grants down the road and make this run permanently,” he said. “We’re building relationships in our community. We’re doing something positive.”
Mayor Joel Greer did not hold back on his praise and hopes for MPACT moving forward.
“I’m banking on the fact that your program is going to be the template and the prototype for the rest of the state,” he said.
In other business, the parks and recreation department reported a couple project bids have come in lower than expected.
The Sixth Street Softball Complex parking lot project bid came in significantly lower than expected. The plan was to install new pavement on half of the lot this year and the other half next year.
Parks and recreation director Geoff Hubbard said because of the low bid it would be possible to complete two-thirds of the lot with a change order adding another $75,182.63 to the current project cost of $358,600.84.
Con-Struct was the low bidder on the project. Hubbard said the project could be finished by June 30.
The pickleball pocket park project, which will be between City Hall and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum, also had a bid come in below estimate. Pillar Inc. was the low bidder at $152,481.75. The estimated cost was $175,000.
“Again, another project that came in under budget so we’re excited about that,” Hubbard said. “I did reach out to the city of Carrol. Pillar just did a pickleball court for them last summer and they did a great job with that project.”
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