Board sees demo of state-of-the-art law enforcement program
Friday / September 14, 2018
IOWA FALLS – The Iowa Valley Community College District Board of Directors learned about a new MILO Law Enforcement training system in use by the Ellsworth Community College Criminal Justice program when it met this week at the ECC campus in Iowa Falls. The $50,000 system is one of only three now in use in Iowa, providing simulation training for law enforcement and military personnel.
ECC Criminal Justice Professor Mike Emerson provided a MILO demonstration for the IVCCD Board and others prior to the Board meeting. In use since last fall, Emerson said the system was purchased with Workforce Training & Economic Development funds (state gaming revenues designated for workforce training). It includes hundreds of scenarios in which users are trained to practice split-second decision-making with and without firearms, tasers and/or pepper sprays. Emerson said the Iowa Department of Public Safety requires MILO training, and that the ECC system has been used to train at least 35 troopers, DCI agents, DNE agents and/or fire marshalls thus far. “It has been huge for our ECC Criminal Justice program to partner with local and state agencies like this, having them on our campus and building these relationships. We look forward to doing more of that!”
During the Board meeting, Criminal Justice students Josh June of Wellsburg and DeAndre Dickerson of Chicago said the MILO system has significantly impacted their thinking and training. “It’s a great tool because we can actually see and experience what officers encounter and go through with these simulations,” said June. Dickerson added, “It’s easy to sit back and judge, but these simulations demonstrate real-life situations.” Emerson said his students have embraced the MILO training system and have gained a new and more realistic perspective on law enforcement as a result.
In other matters, the Board approved the following:
- A 2018-2023 Facilities Master Plan, developed in accordance with the Iowa Department of Education’s accreditation guidance for facilities. IVCCD Chancellor Dr. Chris Duree noted that several people have worked on the document, and particularly noted the efforts of Assistant to the Chancellor/Board Secretary Barb Jennings. He said the IVCCD plan improvements have risen to “a whole new level” in comparison with previous facility plans, adding that he anticipates the document will be considered a community college “best practice” following IVCCD’s accreditation visit in February.
- A contract with Eldora-New Providence Community School District to provide college-level instruction for E/NP high school students.
- An agreement with McFarland Clinic PC in Iowa Falls to provide student health services at ECC; the agreement is the same as in FY18 with the exception of slight changes to vaccine costs.
- A $116,699 quote from Con-Struct, Inc. to repair state roadways on the Marshalltown Community College campus as directed by the Iowa Department of Transportation. Funding comes from the 2018 Park and Institutional Roads Program, and Con-Struct was the low bidder. It was noted that the District hopes the road repairs will be done this fall.
The Board also accepted the gift of a 2008 F250 Super Duty diesel truck from Grinnell Mutual for the Automotive Repair Technology program at Iowa Valley Grinnell. The vehicle will be used by students learning to work on diesel engines.
During recognitions, the Board received a letter in which Alliant Energy thanked Iowa Valley and Marshalltown Community College for letting utility technicians use MCC student housing during tornado clean-up this summer. Dr. Duree specifically mentioned the efforts of employees Chris Brees, Dan Juhl, Julie Thomas and Angie Redmond, who were instrumental in getting the accommodations ready on short notice.
It was also noted that ECC’s Precision Agriculture program has been ranked #3 in the United States by precisionag.com. The Board thanked Ag Professors Kevin Butt and Eric Weuve for their efforts and work with students.
In his report to the Board, Dr. Duree noted that final cost estimates for repair work to the Orpheum Theater Center ($1.5 million) and Education & Training Center ($400,000) in downtown Marshalltown have been received. Repair work has begun on the Orpheum, and the ETC will receive a new roof. He also presented a 14-day enrollment report showing ECC/MCC fall 2018 enrollment is down in comparison to last year. The number of students fell 4.56% from last year, and total credit hours fell 3.43% compared to 2017. Duree said he had just received the report earlier that day, and that the colleges would be analyzing the data in the coming weeks. He added that the District anticipated (and budgeted for) a 5% decrease in credit hours, and that many other Iowa community colleges and universities were also experiencing enrollment declines this fall.
The next regular meeting of the IVCCD Board will be on Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 4 pm in the District Administration Building at 3702 S. Center St. in Marshalltown.