Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 1970 · Page 82
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June 18, 1970

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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 82

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Thursday, June 18, 1970
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Page 82
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Page 82 article text (OCR)

ALL EDITIONS 12 The Arizona Republic Phoenfe, Hints., Jane 18, ^ ^ . _ Rustling of cattle, hogs increasing in Midwest JEFFERSON, late spring wind was bending the foot-high corn shoots to the ground and tearing at the broken shutters on the abandoned farmhouse. ' : In the side yard, near a rickety loading chute, SO very fat hogs were snuffling among the weeds. Pushing open the unlocked gate Greene County; Sheriff Roland Riley pointed to the chute. "All some guy needs to do is to drive in here in a small truck and lead some of those hogs up into it through that chute," he said. "He'd be out of here and into Nebraska in less than two hours, and the farmer who rents this land and owns these animals wouldn't even miss them for a couple of weeks." Riley was explaining why cattle and hog rustling and other forms of thievery peculiar to a farm area are becoming so popular and profitable these days in the rural Midwest, and why the dwindling numbers of law enforcement officers there are having so much trouble doing anything about it. This west-central Iowa county boasts some of the richest farmland in the world, as do many of Iowa's 90 other counties. Yet in the, ]ast decade, the exodus from farm to city has caused the population of all except 17 counties to fall, including an 11 per cent decrease in Greene County. At last count, there were 426 vacant farmsteads in Greene County, many with equipment unmoved, and Riley has to keep track of them all. While there are fewer farmers working and watching over larger tracts of land, the shrinking farm towns have had trouble finding and keeping even one untrained town marshal to provide part-time protection for them. In the past eight years,, there has beenim increase of about; 81 per cent m crime in and .around lowa'toifrns of less than 2,500 population* Here in Greene County, Riley estimates a 12 per cent crime rate since 1965. New York Times Service Iowa—The Harlan has a municipal police fofce of seven, and the ^....r i*.,- «-^. .. „ _*i-.t'...»» , '.county -nas a sheriff and one deputy. This attds tip to nine officers to protect' 15,349 county residents scattered over 575 square miles. . A recent survey by tha cfiunty. crime commissions of the iffi* counties m riorthwest Iowa found that the sheriffs and their deputies were averaging 71 hours on duty each week and that each man, in had to ^cover 500 miles of rural tetrito- -. What is, more, tbday'i thieves are often equipped with fast cars or trucks and some even "have radios tuned to police networks so that they know in moments if anyone has detected them. They, also have the benefit •of miles of excellent farm* to-market roads, tied into four-lane interstate highways. "They're mobile, I assure you," Riley said. "Some of them have better radios than we do and with ; these superhighway's, there isn't a place in Iowa that's more than 2% hours from a state line. They can' get off, pull a robbery and be miles away before we even hear about it." But despite their mounting problems, Riley and the other law enforcement .men in rural Iowa have hope that" help, or at least more money, is on the way. Iowa's rural taxpayers, who have been rebelling against any suggestion of increased county taxes, may be reluctant to spend more money on crime control. But this year, Iowa's State Crime Commission has been dispensing $2.5 million in federal funds to the counties for new equipment and, in 'some esses, for police salaries. County crime commissions have already been organized in 72 counties. Some are beginning studies of ways to coordinate sheriffs and town ' marshals iand use the _ne^ equipment they may get, with federal funds. TIJUANA POWERLESS Iowa farmers between $3 million and $5 million a year, an affliction shared in similar degrees by other states in the area. Iowa state law requires each county have a sheriff and at least one deputy. But the turnover among town marshalls is such that no one is sure how many are now employed in the villages, ,ey en on part-time police work*. : Today in Shelby County in western Iowa, not one of the 10 farm villages has a police officer. The county seat of border* city of Tijuana was knocked out yesterday when two huge transformers failed. WARDS IS YOUR FIRST STOP ON THE WAY TO SUMMER FUN! EVERYTHING YOU NEED AT WHOPPING SAVINGS! CARPET CONCERTO A Three Level Random Sheared Nylon Carpet $JL95*q. ONLY O yd. INSTALLED c The Carpet Shoppe 5819 N. 7th Street Phoenix—264-6186 US! 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