Assistant Orange City Police Chief Mounts Write-In Campaign For Sheriff

Orange City, Iowa — The Orange City Assistant Chief of Police is mounting a write-in campaign to oust Dan Altena as Sioux County Sheriff.

Forty-nine-year-old officer Bruce Jacobsma says he’s been the assistant chief in Orange City for about a year and a half. He tells us about himself.

(as said:) “…married three children, they’re all out of the house. I grew up in Sanborn, did a couple years in the Army right out of high school, then college, and after college started my law enforcement career. First place I worked was Lake Park, then was a deputy for six years in Emmet County. And after that, I’ve… The rest of my time has been here in Orange City.”

He tells us why he decided to mount a write-in campaign.

(as said:) “Basically, when this whole COVID pandemic took off… I’m not happy with the current sheriff’s decisions on how he has handled his office and stuff. The jail has been shut down. We weren’t allowed to arrest people and take them to jail like we normally would and basically keeping them away from the public — as they were a risk. Unless they were deemed violent. And also his deputies were not allowed to make traffic stops. There’s all kinds that… We weren’t allowed to arrest people with arrest warrants.”

Jacobsma tells us that the jail has recently re-opened. He says he thinks that Sheriff Altena’s decisions were “putting the people of Sioux County at risk.”

(as said:) “You know, we were seeing speeds out on the highways increasing because deputies weren’t able to make traffic stops. We had instances, you know, just with our department alone where we had a female that was intoxicated — very intoxicated — causing problems with her family with other people and it went from Orange City to Alton back to Orange City back to Alton and then ended up she was out at a residence actually in the county and then the deputies were involved too, and I’m not sure exactly how many hours but it was several hours that the officers dealt with her and the jail would not accept her. I mean she was definitely being a problem, you know, something like that you have to be able to take people like that to jail and we weren’t allowed to.”

In another example, Jacobsma says drunk drivers would be processed at the jail, but would then be taken home, where they could have easily gotten in another vehicle and driven away, still drunk, which he says is a liability and puts the public at risk.

Jacobsma tells us what else he would do if he were sheriff.

(as said:) “I would make myself more available to the public. You know, after I made this public he put a press release out basically titled ‘Addressing Misleading Information.’ He said during this COVID thing he has been working remotely from home. And I’ve said this before — when we get into law enforcement, we understand that we are going to put ourselves at risk. We do everything we can to minimize those risks, but the risks are still there — whether it be from a violent offender, you know being out on the highway with traffic going by us, or we deal with people that are sick, you know, we help ambulance crews out, you know, all that stuff — and we do what we can to minimize those risks — but still we put ourselves at risk so the general public doesn’t have to.”

He says he knows that since he’s only a write-in candidate, that winning will be an uphill battle, but it’s something he felt like he had to do. According to the Iowa Secretary of State, the deadlines for having your name appear on the ballot for a county office were in March.


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