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Keokuk council reviewing revised residency plan for police

Will Buss

Keokuk City Council members are considering a new residency requirement for its police force, after voting down a recent proposal.

The current proposal calls for the city’s police officers to live in Iowa and within 45 minutes of city limits.

Keokuk City Administrator Cole O’Donnell said this ordinance follows another that would have allowed police officers and city employees to live in Illinois and Missouri.

“The previous version of this had extending the police officers’ residency to anywhere in the county and then other employees could be up to 10 miles from city limits, but then they were allowed to live out of state, as well,” O’Donnell said.

“Under this new ordinance it only applies to police officers, and one of the changes is that it is 45 minutes from the public safety building by the most direct route as determined by a mapping system.”

The mapping system O’Donnell speaks of is one such as Google Maps or other online mileage tracking systems.

City council members voted down the earlier plan because they objected to any city employee or police officer living out of state.

O’Donnell said the council has been considering changes to its employee residency requirements because the city has struggled to attract police officers and other city workers.

City workers are currently required to live within 10 miles of the city and within Lee County.

The council is expected to continue its discussion and consideration of the new ordinance when it meets on Sept. 1.

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