NORTH LIBERTY — Law enforcement is a profession where each and every action results in an equal reaction known as paperwork. Every interaction with the public, every complaint, every citation, and every arrest: all documented, recorded, and preserved.
For North Liberty Police Chief Jim Warkentin, and Lieutenant Diane Venenga, an ever-increasing number of calls for service has led to an ever-increasing pile of paperwork to deal with.
“Diane and I were not able to keep up with our current duties, and also attend to these items,” the Chief of Police said. The answer to the problem was an administrative assistant, a first for the department.
Alisha Ruffcorn was hired in late September. A native of Des Moines, Ruffcorn and her husband Chris have lived in North Liberty since 2002.
Ruffcorn answers the telephone for the department, greets walk-ins at the police station, pulls reports from the files for court, enters traffic and parking tickets into the department’s database, and enters accident reports as well. Ruffcorn will also pull those reports upon insurance company request, tracks monthly activity statistics, schedules vehicle and car safety seat inspections, and will summon an officer to return to the station to take a report, if none are in the office.
Ruffcorn said the number of calls and walk-ins tends to vary from day to day with an average of 10 phone calls and four walk-ins.
To date, the most unusual situation she has had to deal with has been receiving multiple calls about a rabid skunk which was on the loose and terrorizing the citizens of North Liberty.
“I never know what to expect,” she said. “Every day is different.”
Ruffcorn is available to help the public between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Alisha and the NLPD can be reached by phone (non-emergency/routine business) at 626-5724.