Fort Dodge Police Captain Bob Thode says the opportunity arose to conduct the training because the Fort Dodge Regional Airport is closed until July 20th for runway repairs. He says airport manager Rhonda Chambers gave the department permission to use runway for the training exercise.
Police Chief Tim Carmody says two drivers were used to do the training. He says one came from the Iowa State Patrol and the other from the Webster County Sheriff's office. Fort Dodge Police officers would then rotate driving each of the cars. Actually there were many near misses in the pursuits, but no real heavy contact of the vehicles.
Captain Thode explained two of the vehicles were from the Iowa Police Academy and the other two from the City of Fort Dodge. He says the Public Works Department prepared those cars for the training exercise. One of the vehicles had been confiscated in a local drug raid.
The Public Works Department will make sure there is no debris left behind on the runway. Workmen will vacuum it off.
Both Chief Carmody and Captain Thode say the training is a valuable tool in the department having to engage in any future pursuits. Thode reminded everyone that the suspect vehicle starts the chase and not the police.
Carmody stressed the public’s safety always is taken into consideration.