Storm Lake, IA (Siouxland News) — There's a growing concern about the fight against crime in one Northwest Iowa community.
Fewer immigrants are reporting crime in Storm Lake because they're afraid of the police.
This is largely because of current debates over immigration reform in Iowa and the country as a whole.
More local law enforcement agencies around the country are starting to detain and turn over illegal immigrants to the feds.
This isn't the case for Storm Lake, Iowa but many of their immigrant residents are scared to report to the police in that community.
With Storm Lake being a melting pot of ethnic groups, it's one of the most diverse cities in Iowa.
And the Storm Lake Police Department wants to make sure all of those groups feel comfortable and safe in the community.
"We work very hard in doing outreach in this community and building bridges and strengthening the partnership between the citizens we serve and the police department," said Storm Lake Police Chief, Mark Prosser.
So they designed a video hoping to break any stigmas the residents may have about the department.
Prosser went on to say, "We thought it was time after hearing reports several times that people we concerned about talking to the police, to make a statement. And to reach out as best we can to say hey we're here for you, we're here for everyone."
While the video was designed with ethnic groups in mind, the slogan, we are here for you, we are here for everyone was designated to one specific ethnic group but instead, the whole community.
"The message of we are here for you, we are here for everyone spans the whole city. It was just a way to reinforce that to those members in our community that might be concerned about talking to the police," said Prosser.
In the video local leaders show their support, also saying the phrase, "We are here for you, we are here for everyone."
Prosser said, "The police wanted to give the message but here we have our elected officials, we're all on the same page. All wanting to take care of the people who call Storm Lake home."
And lastly, Chief Prosser hopes this video will reinforce people of their message.
He said, "No one that comes to Storm Lake, living, working, playing, or visiting should ever be concerned about approaching a Storm Lake police officer."
Chief Prosser told us they are very active in the community with many different outreach programs, this video just being one of them.