In 1937, the District 4 office was located at 5th Avenue South and 16th Street in Denison and originally known as District 3. It consisted of Carroll, Crawford, Ida, Monona, Sac and Woodbury counties. The first commanding officer for this District was Sergeant Everett Martin. Currently, there is one lieutenant, four sergeants, twenty-eight troopers, and one secretary.
When new districts were established in 1946, the present District 4 was formed. The original eight counties being served under District 4 included: Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Monona and Shelby. In March 2010, District 5 in Cherokee was closed and combined between Districts 4 and 6. Ida, Sac, and Woodbury counties were added to District 4. It currently consists of Audubon, Carroll, Crawford, Greene, Guthrie, Harrison, Ida, Monona, Sac, Shelby and Woodbury counties, with the District Headquarters remaining in Denison. In 1990, the 74th Iowa General Assembly provided funding for the purchase of a pre-existing facility as the new headquarters of District 4. This building is located on the east edge of Denison on Highway 30. The building also has offices for the Department of Narcotics Enforcement and State Fire Marshal Divisions.
Over the past few years District 4, in addition to District 3, has responded to some of Iowa’s most devastating events, including the Floods of ’08 and The Little Sioux Boy Scout Ranch Tornado which killed four and injured 48. District 4 personnel were also dispatched to eastern Iowa to assist with the historical flooding in Cedar Rapids. District 4 personnel assisted with the response of the United Airlines Flight 232crash in Sioux City in July 1989. Security was provided during Russian Party Chairman Nikita Khrushchev’s visit to the Garst Seed Farms in Coon Rapids in September of 1959. The troopers of District 4 assist at regularly scheduled events such as R.A.G.B.R.A.I., Iowa State University football games, Farm Progress Show and various small town summer celebrations and parades.
To date, only one trooper was killed while serving in District 4. On July 2, 1955, Trooper Ralph Garthwaite was killed in the line of duty by an intoxicated driver in a near-head on collision south of Dunlap. Two other officers from the district have had harrowing experiences while performing their duties. In 1945, John Mahnke was kidnapped while patrolling in Crawford County and left chained to a furnace in a country school house in northern Iowa. In January 1967, Donald Jenkins was wounded while trying to apprehend a suspect to investigate the passing of bad checks. He chased the suspects until their car spun out. As the patrolman stepped from his patrol car, they opened fire, hitting Jenkins in the leg twice. One bullet shattered his leg. The three men were later apprehended by Lieutenant Austin Keller about seven miles from the scene of the shooting.
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