This summer, the Iowa State Patrol will be three-quarters of a century old. The agency started off in July of 1935 as the Iowa Highway Safety Patrol.

Lieutenant Kelly Hindman, of the Fort Dodge post, says Iowans may have noticed a commemorative license plate on troopers’ cruisers.

“We put those on all of our patrol cars at the beginning of the year and we’ll run those on our cars for the entirety of 2010 and then we’ll take them off at the end of the year and put our more customary plates back on,” Hindman says. “We thought it might be a way for all of our officers to display to the public our pride in our 75th anniversary.” Hindman said there will be events over the next several months to celebrate the founding of the State Patrol.

There will be open houses at all of the district offices during July, along with a banquet for all current and former state troopers, in addition to special events during RAGBRAI and the Iowa State Fair. A Highway Patrol yearbook is also being assembled, in addition to a commemorative firearm. The patrol’s original motto “Save Lives First” still serves as the primary foundation of the agency’s enforcement programs.

For more information on the patrol’s anniversary, visit:

By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City