With the zeal of unreserved reservists, three cartoon characters from the Iowa League of Heroes joined the police forces of Woodward and Granger Monday evening to help explain the proposed a merger of the two police departments.
Granger Police Chief Kelly Owen and Woodward Police Chief Joseph Cox presented the merger proposal in May to their respective city councils, with the gain of 24-hour public safety for both communities as the main selling point. Neither town has an around-the-clock officer on duty at present.
A consolidation is also expected to increase accountability and generate overall efficiency, Owens and Cox said.
When the Woodward and Granger councils responded positively to the proposal, Monday’s gathering of superheroes was arranged to give the public a chance to discuss the practical details of a merger and its cost.
Along with Owens and Cox, Officers Chris Knouse and Shane Buck and several reserve officers would round out the public safety team. The combined expenses for both departments are currently $329,681, and the proposal calls for a $20,000 or 6% budget increase to implement the merger. The extra $10,000 from each city would offset operating expenses, the chiefs said.
Residents from both towns posed a number of practical questions about the consolidation, regarding overall costs, response times, the sharing of duties, vehicles and headquarters, the place of a school resource officer and other issues.
The superheroes attracted a large crowd, but their departure was briefly impeded by some apparent starter trouble in the heromobile.