June 12, 2017
Able to explain complicated processes to a customer who is confused or angry before a conversation begins. Sounds like it may just be the work a superhero is made of. But in reality, it is the exciting challenge the team in the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Driver & Identity Service’s Information Center takes on every day in many different ways.
Sometimes you need to step out of your comfort zone. But that’s a dangerous place to be if you’re in law enforcement. Preparing our law enforcement motor vehicle investigators for any difficult situation is the purpose of a targeted training program developed in collaboration with Iowa Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection and Office of Strategic Communications and Hawkeye Community College.
Mike Athey, director of the Iowa DOT’s Bureau of Investigation & Identity Protection, said, “I have no greater responsibility than ensuring the safe return home for each and every investigator at the end of a shift. The firearms training that is typically conducted twice per year focuses on proficiency upon a stationary target. Although this type of training is mandated and customary in law enforcement, it doesn’t put in perspective the complexity of a situation one may find him or herself in.”
Larry Smith had an idea for what he would do with his time once he retired from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Office of Contracts this fall. He said, “I was a State of Iowa employee for 11 years with the Iowa Air National Guard Civil Engineering Squadron, so I knew I wanted to do something to help our wounded service members. I did a little research and found an organization called Puppy Jake Foundation. The group equips volunteers to train service dogs for veterans.”
The mission of Puppy Jake Foundation is “to improve the physical and emotional well-being of wounded military veterans through well-bred, socialized, and professionally trained service dogs.”