Iowa Department of Public Safety
2003 Annual Report

The Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) has a history of dedication and service to the citizens of Iowa and those who visit our state. Since it was first established in 1939, DPS has been the chief law enforcement agency in the State of Iowa. Headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, in the Wallace State Office Building on the Capitol Complex, DPS also has a presence statewide.

DPS currently is divided into 5 divisions:

  • Administrative Services Division
  • Division of Criminal Investigation
  • Division of Narcotics Enforcement
  • State Fire Marshal Division
  • Iowa State Patrol Division


The Commissioner's Office is comprised of five bureaus that provide assistance and support to the divisions and other law enforcement and fire services agencies. They are:

  • Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau
  • Intelligence Bureau
  • Plans, Research and Training Bureau
  • Professional Standards Bureau
  • Public Information Bureau

Commissioner of Public Safety

Kevin W. Techau, Commissioner

Kevin W. Techau was appointed Commissioner of the Iowa Department of Public Safety by Governor Thomas J. Vilsack in February 2002. He is the 19th person to serve as Commissioner of Public Safety since its inception in 1939. Prior to this appointment, Techau served as the Director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals. He also served as an assistant Federal Public Defender and has also been in private practice with the Grefe and Sidney firm in Des Moines.

Commissioner Techau is a graduate of the University of Iowa College of Business and the University's College of Law. After graduation, he spent seven years on active duty with the United States Air Force including two tours in Europe. Since leaving active duty, Techau has served the Iowa Air National Guard, where he is currently a Lieutenant Colonel with the 132nd Fighter Wing, in Des Moines after having previously served with the 185th Fighter Wing, Sioux City, Iowa.


Executive Assistant to the Commissioner  

Larry Sauer

Larry Sauer began his career with the Iowa Department of Public Safety in 1977 as a Trooper in the Iowa State Patrol. As a Trooper, he was a member of the first Technical Accident Investigators class, assisted with EMS Instruction and was a Defensive Tactics Instructor.

In 1989, he transferred to the Division of Criminal Investigation where he worked in both the General Criminal and Intelligence units in Zone 2. In 1997, Sauer became the Assistant Director of the Internal Affairs Bureau, now known as the Professional Standards Bureau. In January 2000, he was promoted to Special Agent In Charge and became the Director of the Professional Standards Bureau. Sauer remained in this position until his appointment to Executive Assistant to the Commissioner in July of 2001.


Legislative Liaison

Betsy Dittemore

Betsy Dittemore began her career with the Department of Public Safety in September 1987, when she assumed a temporary position as Administrative Assistant with the Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau. Prior to that time she had been Assistant Personnel Director at FDL Foods in Dubuque, Iowa.

She was promoted to the position of Personnel Assistant with the Department in the Spring of 1988. In October 1988, she was chosen to serve as the Department's Legislative Liaison and has served in this position during the past 15 legislative sessions.


Agency Rules Administrator

Michael Coveyou

Michael Coveyou began his career with the Department of Public Safety in January 1979, when he was appointed as a Program Planner in the Research and Development Bureau. Prior to that time, he had worked as an Operations and Program Analyst for the City of Des Moines and had been an Instructor of Statistics and Political Science at Iowa State University.

He became a Research and Statistics Manager in 1980 and has been Agency Rules Administrator since 1987. In addition to administering all administrative rule making by the Department, he is responsible for the Department's strategic and performance planning and special projects research.


Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau

J. Michael Laski

The Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau (GTSB) is directed by J. Michael Laski, Bureau Chief. Mike has served as the Bureau Chief of GTSB since 1986. He is currently the Regional Representative and Executive Board member of the Governor's Highway Safety Association (GHSA). In past years, he has represented Region 7 (Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Iowa) as a GHSA Executive Board member, served as the Chair of the Law Enforcement and Engineering Committee and as Vice-Chair of the GHSA (2001-2002). Mike represents the Department of Public Safety as a member of the Management Systems Policy Committee, Iowa Department of Transportation. He has also served the Iowa Department of Public Safety as the Director of the Research and Development Bureau and as the Legislative Liaison. Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree (Political Science) and Master of Arts (Urban Affairs) degree from St. Louis University.

GTSB is responsible for administering federally funded highway safety programs in Iowa. The Bureau's primary goal is the reduction of deaths and injuries on the state's streets and highways. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the United States Department of Transportation, administers grant funds, which the GTSB applies for. Funds from successful grant applications are distributed to agencies within Iowa. Nine priority funding areas have been established: alcohol/impaired driving, occupant protection, speed, serious moving violations (police traffic services), roadway safety, motorcycle safety, pedestrian/bicycle safety, emergency medical services and traffic records. During the past five years, the bureau has funded activities in all nine of these areas with current funding in eight of the nine emphasis areas. While all 50 states receive basic highway safety funds, all other funding sources are available on a competitive basis. For example, Iowa qualifies for occupant protection monies because our statewide seat belt use rate of 82% is above the national average of 75%.

Altogether, GTSB administers over $4 million in highway safety funds. The bureau partners with over 200 local law enforcement agencies and the Iowa State Patrol, including police departments and sheriff's offices in 84 of Iowa's 99 counties, as well as public safety departments at each of our state universities. The bureau provides judicial training and counsel through the State Court Administrator's Office and the Iowa Attorney General's Office, Prosecuting Attorney Training Coordinator, and Traffic Safety Training for law enforcement through the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Significant highway safety activities are conducted with the Iowa Department of Public Health (traffic records, EMS, child passenger issues), and the Iowa Department of Transportation's Motor Vehicle Division and Office of Traffic and Safety (traffic records and roadway safety).

Fiscal Year 2003 was a very eventful and successful year for highway safety in Iowa. Iowa's safety belt use rate continued to climb, reaching 82%. Iowa is consistently among the top 10 states in safety belt usage. Alcohol-related fatalities for calendar year 2002 dipped below 100 for the first time in the state's history, with 99 alcohol-related traffic deaths. Most significantly, the state set a 57 year low in overall traffic deaths, with 404.

As a result of these significant accomplishments, GTSB was recognized by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with its Outstanding Service Award. The award was given to Iowa by NHTSA Administrator Jeff Runge and presented by NHTSA Region 7 Administrator Romell Cooks at the GTSB's annual conference in March 2003.

Iowa may be able to make even more progress in reducing the deaths and injuries caused by impaired drivers in Fiscal Year 2003, thanks to a new .08 BAC standard for driving while intoxicated. The new .08 law became effective July 1, 2003, and makes Iowa the 39th state to enact the .08 standard. This law has the potential to save 10-16 lives per year in reduced drunk driving-related crashes.


Intelligence Bureau

Russ Porter

The Intelligence Bureau is overseen by Special Agent In Charge Russ Porter, Bureau Chief. Russ became a police officer in 1978, joining the Department of Public Safety's Division of Criminal Investigation in 1982. In 1984 he was assigned to Intelligence, participated in the first Law Enforcement Intelligence Network (LEIN) school, and later became the State LEIN Coordinator. Russ was awarded the Master of Public Administration degree from Drake University (1993), and is now a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Criminal Justice at the University of Nebraska in Omaha. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Investigative Support Center Committee. He is also on the Board of Directors for two international law enforcement organizations: The Law Enforcement Intelligence Unit (LIEU) and the International Association of Law Enforcement Intelligence Analysts (IALEIA).

The Intelligence Bureau provides support to all enforcement divisions of the Department of Public Safety as well as to all other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in Iowa. The Intelligence Bureau also serves as a point of contact for law enforcement agencies from other states.

The type of support provided to consumers varies with the nature of the request. Requests may involve helping to positively identifying particular individuals when given incomplete information, or it might be as complicated as taking thousands of information items and organizing them in such a way that they make sense. In essence, the personnel of the Intelligence Bureau research, manage, and analyze information. They help free up some of the investigator's time so he/she can continue to focus on the case at hand, while the Intelligence Bureau handles some of the time consuming analysis, law enforcement can concentrate on the areas of criminal investigation, enforcement of the law and the development of crime control policy. Services provided to the law enforcement community include the information and analytical services provided by Intelligence Bureau personnel; the collection, networking, and dissemination capabilities of LEIN; and the support provided by the Counter-Drug Support Program of the Iowa National Guard.

During the last year, the Intelligence Bureau has been involved in a number of projects in an effort to provide intelligence services to the agencies it supports. One example is making critical information available to officers by connecting the LEIN Web to the Regional Information Sharing System (RISS). This project, once completed, will provide law enforcement agencies at all levels of government, access to intelligence information 24 hours a day, seven days a week via a secure Internet connection. This effort, along with others, will allow the Intelligence Bureau to meet its objective to provide the right information to the right people at the right time.


Plans, Research and Training Bureau

Doug Mollenhauer

The Plans, Research and Training Bureau is overseen by Lieutenant Doug Mollenhauer, Bureau Chief. Doug began his career with the Iowa Department of Public Safety 22 years ago as a Trooper in Ottumwa. In 1993 Doug was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and resided in Manchester until December 1998, when he transferred to the Professional Development Bureau. In September 2000, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and became the District Commander for the State Patrol Division's newly-created District 16. Doug has been active as a trainer in various law enforcement areas including survival training, physical fitness, leadership, core values, and tactical team training. Doug has been involved in the training of tactical units for nearly his entire career, serving as a member of the original Clandestine Lab Team, and tactical team leader on three tactical units throughout the state.

In August 2002, the Plans, Training and Research Bureau (PRTB) was formed. The PRTB is responsible for recruiting, hiring, and training all sworn DPS peace officers. The bureau's mission is to provide quality training, planning, research and support which will significantly prepare, enhance, and maintain effective and proficient sworn peace officers.

The PRTB is responsible for the peace officer applicant process and the Basic Training Academy. The bureau is also responsible for the coordination of departmental in-service training for incumbent officers and maintance of departmental training records. They also administer the physical fitness program, survival training, coordinate supervisor training in management and leadership, conduct promotional testing, develop and maintain updated departmental policies, and assists the Commissioner's office with grant writing, planning and research.

The PRTB is staffed with three (3) sworn officers, including the Bureau chief and one (1) civilian employee: The Peace Officer Applicant Coordinator.


Professional Standards Bureau

Shane Antle

The Professional Standards Bureau (PSB) is overseen by Lieutenant Shane Antle, Bureau Chief. Shane began his career with the Iowa Department of Public Safety in 1982 as a Trooper with the State Patrol Division. In 1993, Shane was promoted to Sergeant and assigned to the State Patrol Division Headquarters as the Public Information Officer. In December 1997, Sergeant Antle transferred to the State Patrol Division District 1 in Des Moines and served as an Assistant District Commander. In January 2000, Sergeant Antle transferred to the Professional Responsibility Bureau where he served as an Assistant Director. In December 2002, Sergeant Antle was promoted to a Lieutenant and became the Bureau Chief of PSB.

PSB is the internal investigative unit for DPS. When a complaint is filed against one of the Department's employees PSB has the responsibility to oversee an internal investigation to ensure that a thorough investigation is completed. The resultsof the investigation are then forwarded to the respective division representatives and the Commissioner's office for case

disposition. PSB also conducts staff inspections of the Department's offices and reports its findings and recommendations to the Commissioner.

The Department of Public Safety takes pride in the integrity and professionalism of its employees. All allegations of employee misconduct are taken seriously. PSB is responsible for conducting thorough investigations of all allegations of employee misconduct. Members of PSB handle complaints by conducting fair, complete and impartial investigations of employee misconduct. In Fiscal Year 2003, there were 51 formal complaints, representing 120 allegations of departmental rule violations filed with the PSB. Of those 120 allegations of departmental rule violations 49 were sustained, 20 not sustained, 23 were unfounded, and 8 exonerated. Of those remaining, 14 were administratively closed, and 6 are pending.


Public Information Bureau

Robert Hansen

The Public Information Bureau is directed by Lieutenant Robert Hansen, Bureau Chief. Rob began his career with the Iowa Department of Public Safety in 1987 as an Officer with the Capitol Police Division. In 1990, Rob was selected to transfer to the State Patrol Division. During his 13 year career with the State Patrol Division, Rob has served in District 7, Webster City and District 1, Adel. Rob has also served on the Tactical and Vehicle Theft Units within the State Patrol Division. In January 2000, Rob was selected to serve as the Public Information Officer for the State Patrol Division. In August 2002, Commissioner Kevin W. Techau asked Rob to expand his role as Public Information Officer for the entire department.

This two-person bureau is responsible for:

  • Overseeing departmental media relations and public information
  • Coordination of Press Conferences relating to the Department
  • Electronic Media, including the Department's World Wide Web site, Extranet site and Intranet site
  • Departmental Newsletter ("Communicator")
  • Development and maintenance of effective communication resources within the Department
  • Employee recognition including longevity certificates, retirement letters and miscellaneous certificates
  • Departmental promotions and special project coordination
  • Awards Program Coordination, including the Governor's Golden Dome awards and the Sullivan Brothers Award of Valor
  • Departmental Annual Report preparation
  • Departmental announcements (new directors, special agents etc.)
  • Personnel Development Seminars (PDS) Training Liaision


Return to Top of Page DPS Annual Report Commissioner's Office Administrative Servi ces 2003 Division of Criminal Investigation 2003 State Fire Marshal 2003 Division of Narcotics Enforcement 2003 Iowa State Patrol 2003 Commissioner's Office Commissioner's Office DPS Annual Report Visit the Iowa Department of Public Safety Home Page Commissioner's Office Administrative Servi ces 2003 Division of Criminal Investigation 2003 State Fire Marshal 2003 Division of Narcotics Enforcement 2003 Iowa State Patrol 2003 Legislative Liaison
Created: 08-01-2003 (JLR)
Last Updated: 11-13-2003 (JLR)


Commissioner Techau Executive Assistant to the Commissioner of Public Safety Legislative Liaison Iowa Department of Public Safety Agency Rules Administrator Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau Intelligence Bureau Public Information Bureau Plans, Research & Training Bureau Professional Standards Bureau Return to the Top Return to the Beginning of the Iowa Department of Public Safety's 2003 Annual Report Visit the Iowa Department of Public Safety's Home Page