District 7 was established in 1937. At that time, it was known as District 5. It boasted one sergeant and six patrolmen when it first opened. It is composed of Calhoun, Hamilton, Humboldt, Kossuth, Pocahontas, Webster and Wright counties in north-central Iowa. A 30-mile stretch of Interstate 35 is located on the eastern side of this District and Highway 20 runs through east and west. This is important as the four-lane Highway 20 across the entire width of Iowa will soon be completed.
The District 7 Office was first located in an abandoned filling station in Fort Dodge. It then moved to the courthouse in Dakota City. In 1958, the office was moved to the basement of the old 4-H auditorium in Fort Dodge. In 1961, a new building was constructed at what is now the entrance to Iowa Central Community College on the west side of Fort Dodge. A new facility was opened in February of 1996 which is currently headquartered near four-lane U.S. Highway 20 south of Fort Dodge and on the southeast corner of junction P-59 near the town of Coalville. The District Office is also home to the DCI, DNE, and a member of the Fire Marshal’s office.
Some significant events requiring District 7 trooper’s response include tornadoes in Manson, Fort Dodge, Algona, Belmond, Bradgate and Stratford. Significant manpower was also offered to both the Parkersburg tornado and the eastern Iowa floods in 2008. Iowa’s first in the nation caucuses require a great deal of dignitary protection duties every four years. In 1968, District 7 personnel were the first to use riot gear for a strike at the Iowa Beef Plant in Fort Dodge.
Several annual events occur throughout the year in which the Iowa State Patrol is involved. They include the ABATE motorcycle rally (formerly held in Humboldt and now hosted near Algona) Dayton Labor Day celebration, Gowrie’s 4th of July celebration, Girl’s State High School Softball Tournament, the Boy’s and Girl’s State High School cross country meet, Fort Dodge Frontier Days celebration and R.A.G.B.R.A.I.
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