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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Local man takes career in uniform in new direction

Friday, December 7, 2012

Troy Beitelspacher is welcomed to the Le Mars Police Department by Mayor Dick Kirchoff. Beitelspacher was sworn into office as a patrolman by the Le Mars mayor Monday. Beitelspacher fills a vacancy created when Dennis Folkema retired in September.
Putting on a uniform to go to work has been a routine part of Troy Beitelspacher's day for nearly a decade.

He changed the routine by putting on a different uniform for his new law enforcement job Monday.

That's the day Beitelspacher was sworn in as the city of Le Mars 14th police officer. He filled a vacancy created in September with the retirement of Dennis Folkema, Le Mars police captain.

The new Le Mars Police officer was previously employed as a corrections officer in the jail at the Plymouth County Sheriff's Office, according to Stuart Dekkenga, Le Mars Police chief.

Beitelspacher chose a law enforcement career because each day could be different, he said.

"I'm looking forward to working with the public and meeting new people," Beitelspacher said.

Law enforcement is something Beitelspacher considered as a child.

"I always had an interest in it; as I got older I thought it would be a good idea so I just kept with it," he said.

Beitelspacher's interest changed to a career when he attended Western Iowa Tech Community College (WITCC), in Sioux City, after graduating from Gehlen Catholic High School in 1991. He is a Le Mars native.

Beitelspacher earned an associate's degree in police science from WITCC in 2001.

His nine years of experience on the Plymouth County Jail staff will help him in his work with the Le Mars Police Department, he said.

"I know a lot about the way the officers work from seeing them bring people to the jail and I'll recognize a lot of the faces and the people an officer has contact with," Beitelspacher said.

He is looking forward to being in the more "proactive" role of a police officer.

"I like the fact that anytime someone needs help, you can help them -- you're out there working as an officer to help people," he said.

Prior to joining the Le Mars Department, Beitelspacher used his training and experience as a part-time police officer for the Merrill Police department.

He also was employed as a part-time reserve officer with the county sheriff's office in the last couple of years.

As he transitions from corrections work to police patrolman, Beitelspacher will train with three Le Mars Police officers, the Le Mars police chief said.

"He will shadow one of those three training officers probably for the first three to four months," Dekkenga said. "He'll always work the same shift as one of those officers for another couple of months."

To become a certified officer in the state of Iowa, the city of Le Mars will provide additional training for Beitelspacher.

The options are an eight-week course at WITCC or 14 weeks at the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy in Johnston.

The location and time for training for certification will depend on whether the course is available at WITCC, Dekkenga said.

State law requires the police officer to be certified in the state within the first year of employment, the police chief said.

Beitelspacher will use the skills he has and add to them for certification with one priority in mind.

"People should call us any time they need help," he said.

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