Dear Editor,

As Law Enforcement Officers in Southern Iowa, we know firsthand the quality Criminal Justice graduates that Indian Hills Community College trains for police departments and sheriff's offices throughout our region.

Over the past year, Indian Hills responded to our call for required trainings needed for our entire department. They worked to develop the needed courses and trained more than 400 law enforcement personnel throughout southeast Iowa and across the Midwest. This required training would not have been possible without the partnership with Indian Hills.

Indian Hills provided 29,552 concurrent enrollment credits to 2,176 students in the 10-county region. That saved students and families of southern Iowa more than $5.3 million in Indian Hills tuition, or the equivalent of $9.4 million in Iowa Regent University tuition.

A portion of the bond revenue will be used to establish virtual classrooms in each of the 19 high schools within the Indian Hills region. These classrooms will not only increase the number of concurrent enrollment courses available to students, but will provide technology that can be used by all students and staff to enhance education in our districts.

Additionally, the new building on the Centerville Campus will assist in graduating more welders, industrial mechanics, and construction workers; all skills that are greatly needed by business and industry within our region. The addition of the Criminal Justice Training Center on the Ottumwa North Campus will ensure that students who take the oath to protect and serve the residents of our region are properly trained and ready to fill open positions throughout our region immediately upon graduation.

The last Indian Hills bond referendum was passed in 1983 to purchase the Ottumwa Main Campus from the Sisters of Humility. It is once again time for the people of our 10-county area to invest in the future of Indian Hills and of our region. Please join us in casting a "yes" vote for the Indian Hills bond levy on November 2, 2021, or by absentee ballot prior to Election Day. The bond levy is a nominal contribution when you consider the great benefit our community college provides for our region.

These projects will ensure that Indian Hills can continue to offer low-cost, high-quality postsecondary education opportunities to thousands of Southern Iowa residents now and into the future.

Respectfully,

Sheriff Don Phillips, Ottumwa, and Ottumwa Police Chief Chad Farrington, Ottumwa

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