Traffic Checkpoints Cause A Political Stir - ABC5 News Des Moines, IA

Traffic Checkpoints Cause A Political Stir

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 By: Claire Powell


Friday night, Central Iowa Police Departments chose vehicles, at random, for traffic safety checkpoints.

The police checked licenses, registration and insurance information. They also checked equipment like lights, turning signals and horns to make sure everything worked properly.  

However, the Iowa GOP released a message Friday morning calling the traffic checkpoints "unnecessary" and said the police could be using their time more wisely. The Polk County GOP had a different opinion.

"I think the police, their jobs would be better served going out into the community doing other things," said Steve Bierfeldt, Iowa GOP.

He said the Iowa GOP published the message to remind drivers of their constitutional rights.

 "We just wanted people to be aware of what their rights were and they don't have to subject themselves to searches. Police say ‘can I search your car,' they don't have to do that.
We wanted to make sure everyone was held accountable," said Bierfeldt.

The also urged drivers to record the encounters with the officers, good or bad, and share them with the Iowa GOP Facebook page.

"All we're saying is be weary of what the police are doing, be aware of what your rights are and hold them accountable. If you have an iPhone, record the conversation," said Bierfeldt.

This message didn't sit well with the Polk County GOP who said the police are the "heroes of the community" and that they're doing their job.

"We really do feel like the police are doing their job and doing a great job of it. We trust the police that they're going to execute their job and their responsibilities accordingly," said Will Rogers, Polk County GOP.

The Polk County Police Departments are within their rights to do these searches and don't appreciate the defiant "call to action" from the Iowa GOP.

 "We always operate within the law and we never violate anyone's constitutional rights and I think the position that they're taking is a little ridiculous. I think they're position is actually defiant of what our position is out there on the streets," said Sergeant Brent Long with the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

The traffic checkpoints began at 4 p.m. and will last through Friday night.  

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