The chief of police in Forest City is dead. Fellow officers concerned about the welfare of longtime Forest City Police Chief Doug Book found him at his home over the weekend. The 58-year-old Book has served as Forest City police chief since 1974 and has headed the North Iowa Narcotics task Force for the last 10 years. In an interview last August, Chief Book praised Iowa’s tough new precursor law cracking down on ingredients used to make illegal methamphetamine.
Book says in the year following the law’s passage, the number of labs was reduced statewide by about 75-percent. He adds that in his region of northern Iowa the effect was less because people could cross over into Minnesota, with its less-stringent laws, and get those precursor materials. Despite his work with the Narcotics Task Force, Book said last year that the community needs to keep kids from starting with “gateway drugs” like alcohol and tobacco. Book said prevention should be coupled with education and treatment, because just relying on law-enforcement won’t do it. He says there are so many meth users today in the system, that “that battle is today — the gateway drug battle is in the future.” Book was a 1965 graduate of Forest City High School, and has said he didn’t regret spending his entire law enforcement career in his hometown. They’ll do an autopsy to determine the cause of death.