February saw the first meeting of the Iowa Peace Officers Association (IPOA) where Osceola’s own Police Chief, Marty Duffus, presided over events as the organization’s new President. After four years as Vice President, Duffus was nominated for the position and took the helm after Mike McKelvey from the Mason City Police Department retired. The new position comes with a litany of honors but it’s the organization’s service and the ability to make an impact on the future lives and safety of his fellow officers Duffus focused on.
“The IPOA offers a range of value for officers across the state,” said Duffus. “From a strong legislative voice to continuing education on safety, investigation procedures, and current events, we work to keep all officers ahead of public information cycles and situations that could possibly become threats to our communities.”
Established in 1908, The Iowa Peace Officers Association includes and serves members from local, regional, and state law enforcement organizations. These organizations include Iowa State Troopers, members of the DOT, local Sheriffs, and Railroad Police Officers. Many of the recent actions the IPOA have taken focused on the safety and welfare of the organization, their membership and increasing educational opportunities for Iowa law enforcement organizations.
“Recently we lobbied the Iowa statehouse on behalf of officers across the state to help raise awareness for bills like Governor Reynolds’ ‘Back the Blue Act,’ the reduction of income tax on officer retirements, as well as advising on changes to the regulation of CBD and cannabis and other criminal laws,” said Duffus. “These activities affect more than our officers. It directly impacts how we all protect and serve our communities.”
Each year, the IPOA also holds the IPOA Training Conference for its members. The 2023 Conference held this past February at Prairie Meadows, in Des Moines, Iowa, saw hundreds of officers gather over a day and a half event to listen to industry experts and attend educational training sessions. This training covered a wide array of topics to help association officers, from gathering deeper insights from current events like investigations surrounding the Molly Tibbits murder, the riots in Ferguson, Missouri and in Minneapolis, Minnesota as well as cultural studies on policing in America, gun safety, and even sessions on officer pension and retirement advice.
“For those who wear the badge, the IPOA is a resource of support and education,” said Duffus. “For our communities, it means there’s an organization that is committed to making policing and serving the community as effective and safe as possible.”
The IPOA Presidential position comes with a two-year term. Duffus hopes, in his time as president, to continue to build the association’s membership, increase attendance to the Annual Training Conference, and make it easier to share the information and education officers need to better serve the community.