Iowa DOT Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers Merging Into State Patrol

(Radio Iowa) The nearly 100 officers in the Iowa D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division will soon become part of the Iowa Highway Patrol. The switch takes effect July 1st. Governor Kim Reynolds says it makes sense to have units with similar functions under the same roof at the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Iowa State Patrol Colonel Nathan Fulk says the organizations have been partners for many years.

“In 2022, we collectively assisted more than 14,000 stranded motorists and the Iowa State Patrol investigated over 4600 traffic collisions,” Fulk says. “As we come together, we will in a position to improve the public safety services with consistency, collaboration and teamwork.”

Tom Bruun is chief of the D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Enforcement Division.  “For years, Motor Vehicle Enforcement has worked side by side with our partners with the Iowa State Patrol to keep Iowans safe,” Bruun says. “This transition will continue to strengthen that partnership by bringing all state traffic law enforcement together under the unbrella of the Iowa State Patrol.” Brunn, Fulk and the state public safety commissioner will meet next week with the 365 state troopers and the 98 officers in the D-O-T’s Motor Vehicle Division to discuss how the merger will work. Bruun, who has worked in the D-O-T for nearly 34 years, says the focus for his officers will remain on commercial trucking and operating the 11 weigh stations in Iowa for semis.

“Enforcement of size and weight regulations prevents damages to the roads and bridges, which makes them safer for the motoring public,” Bruun says. Governor Reynolds signed the bill into law at the D-O-T weigh station for semis that are along eastbound Interstate-80, just after the Van Meter exit. It was open for parts of 21 days last month — and 25-thousand commercial vehicles passed through. State troopers and D-O-T Motor Vehicle Enforcement Officers drive vehicles that are different colors and, while the style of their uniforms are similar, troopers have brown hats and shirts, while blue is the color worn by D-O-T officers. Officials haven’t announced whether those color-coded differences will remain after the merger.