Oct 07

September 2019

Posted on October 7, 2018 at 6:47 PM by Craig Johnson

“What’s New in County 22?”

            My heart goes out to the families of Mollie Tibbetts and Celia Barquiin Arozamena.  Two college students from the State of Iowa recently and selfishly taken from us.  I know this is a hot topic with new students recently going to college for the first time this year so in my article this month I would like to give you some ideas or suggestions on what do if you are running, or even biking, walking or just enjoying the outdoors.  I found most of these tips on the internet but have a few I use myself. 

Share Your Itinerary:  Whenever I go out hunting, I tell my wife where I am going even if I know it is not a dangerous climb into a tree stand.  Since she does not know the nicknames of the landmarks where I hunt, I usually tell her to call a friend of mine that knows which area or stand I am going to be in and what time I should return.  If you are running or walking in town, let someone know what time you are going and about when you should be back.  If you do not know the street names, tell them the best route you are going, like by John Doe’s house, around the school, by the park and home, etc.

Mix it up:  Try to change up your routes as much as possible.  Following the same routes every day makes it easier for stalkers to target you.  If you cannot change your route, change the times you go, so you are not so predictable. 

Run in the daylight:  Studies show that it is much safer for women to jog or walk when it is light out.  It is less likely that attackers will try anything in the daylight.  If you want to go on nature trails or jog in secluded areas, make sure to take other people with you.

Carry a cellphone:  Always carry a cell phone with you and make sure it is easily accessible and fully charged so you can contact someone if you need to.  You might even need it if you sprain an ankle or obtain an injury.  If you do not have a cell phone carry a whistle or alarm.

Limit the Music:  Good music can inspire you to push yourself a little harder but music can also shut out the noises around you.  Try using one headphone instead of two so you can still hear what is going on around you.  This would also be helpful if a motorist is honking to get your attention.

Carry Pepper Spray or Mace:  A lot of people think only cops carry this but you can buy it at any outdoor store like Cabela’s.  Hunters use it for bears and it is not that expensive.  They also make some that are attached to key chains for easy access.

Do not Run Alone:  There is safety in numbers so it is good to go in pairs or more.  If possible, take a dog with you.

Stay Alert:  Try to be aware of what is going on around you.  Use your eyes, ears and intuition to warn yourself of possible danger or suspicious behavior.  If you have any suspicion of anything unusual, give us a call or at least tell someone else about it. 

Take A Self Defense Class:  One of the most important elements of taking a self-defense class if the confidence building as well as the verbal and physical protection skills.  Sgt. Brent Ostrander is a defensive tactics instructor and has training in self-defense.  He is willing to teach self-defense for groups of people interested.  Please contact our office and ask for him if you would like to set something up.

          By writing this article, I am not trying to scare anyone or hinder your outdoor activities.  I believe we live in a safe community, but taking extra precaution cannot hurt anyone and is not a bad practice to use as you grow old or pass onto your children.             

And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at mtschirgi@claytoncountyia.gov, or stop by to see me.

Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi


Sep 02

August 2018

Posted on September 2, 2018 at 3:22 AM by Craig Johnson

    This month I would like to inform the public on a couple of messaging systems used within our county.  The first, one for the public, was implemented by Clayton County Emergency Management Coordinator Sarah Moser.

    Alert Iowa is a statewide mass notification and emergency messaging system. The system can be used by state and local authorities to quickly disseminate emergency information to residents in counties that utilize the system. The system is available, free of charge, to all counties.

    Alert Iowa allows citizens to sign up for the types of alerts they would like to receive.  It is recommended that if you are not directly impacted by minor river flooding do not check the box to receive those notifications.  Alert Iowa also gives residents the opportunity to distinguish if somebody in their home has any special needs, such as insulin dependent, bedridden, oxygen dependent.  This enables Emergency Management to send information directly to individuals who may be impacted.  The best way to receive messages is via text message.

    Take 60 seconds and get yourself registered for this wonderful notification system.  You may register by going to https://entry.inspironlogistics.com/clayton_ia/wens.cfm. Any questions can be directed to the Clayton County Emergency Management office.

    The second system we are working with now is called eDispatch or eDispatches.com for first responders (Fire, EMS, and police).  This system works via a phone app and sends notifications to turn your mobile device into a pager with replay, mapping/routing and live streaming audio of any emergency paging.  Basically, it is a secondary notification system that will send messages to first responders’ phones in case they did not hear a page.  By using this app you can also notify other members of a responding agency that they received the page and are enroute to the call.  Another nice thing about this is if for some reason a radio tower would go down, responders would still get their page with this app.  This system also works with our CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) software which is mapping and call information so responders know what type of call they are responding to and exactly where to respond to. 


If you have any questions, or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me, or stop by to see me.


Thanks and be safe,


Sheriff Mike Tschirgi

Jul 31

July 2018

Posted on July 31, 2018 at 1:03 AM by Craig Johnson

“What’s New in County 22?”

It seems a lot of the time when people ask me what is going on at our office I usually say we are busy.  This time I would have to say we have been really, really, busy. Every weekend it seems there are multiple events going on.  We usually start the summer out with Strawberry Days and helping with all the city summer events, directing traffic for tractorcades, motorcycle rides or rallies, car cruises, etc., while still responding to calls and car accidents.  I normally have the patrol deputies pay special attention to the areas where the events are taking place during the evening, in case city officers need back up.

Drivers need to slow down and pass with care when they approach a Tractorcade.  These vehicles are driving probably half the speed you are on the highway, and you do not want to run into the back of one.  They should have a SMV “slow moving vehicle” sign on the back to alert you they are there.  Most of the Tractorcades I have gotten behind will pull over for you on the straight stretches of road so you can pass safely.  Please do not pass a tractor at an intersection.  If the tractor fails to signal a left turn, they could turn into you.

Motorcycle rallies and Car cruises are usually going the same speed as you but the motorcycles are harder to see.  Some of the newer bikes have better lighting but do not take that for granted.  Same as tractors please do not pass at an intersection.  In addition, when I pull up to an intersection I usually take a double look both directions.  The first time you look, you might be looking right through a motorcycle coming up to the intersection you did not see.  The second time you look you just might see them so I always double check.  If it is a busy intersection, I will even look more.   

All these folks have just as much right to the road as you do.  When asked, we usually provide support by assisting with traffic control for these events at dangerous intersections, provided I have enough manpower to do so.  No one wants to see an accident.  If you have an event you would like some help with, please give me a call at the sheriff’s office (563)245-2422 ext.4, and I will do what I can to assist you.                     

           We are currently planning and scheduling to get ready for the Clayton County Fair.  It sounds today like the weather should be nice and hopefully they have a good crowd.  We are also scheduling for the Volga Truck cruise later this month.  They are trying to break the Guinness Book of World records for longest truck cruise.  I believe they are trying to get over 2000 trucks for the cruise.  We have asked for help from the State Patrol on both events with traffic control.


          If you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me anytime, e-mail me at mtschirgi@claytoncountyia.gov, or stop by to see me.



Thanks and be safe,

Sheriff Mike Tschirgi