New FDPD officer likes being in ‘public eye’

A little more than four months after he became a Fort Dodge police officer, Cody Harris said he has adjusted well to his new position.

Harris, who was hired April 10, came to the city after spending 16 months as a Monona County sheriff’s deputy and, before that, 18 months as a Crawford County sheriff’s deputy.

He said Fort Dodge felt like the perfect fit for him and his career.

“It seemed to me like a happy medium,” Harris said. “It wasn’t a big city where you get smothered in everything and you’re not able to interact with other officers. Yet it wasn’t small enough where nothing was happening.”

The level of activity he’s experienced in town, combined with what he described as “that small town feeling” made him realize he’d made the right decision.

While still a peace officer, Harris said there are a number of differences between being a county deputy and a city officer.

“There are a lot more city ordinances I have to work with when compared to the county,” Harris said. “In the county we did a lot with the jail and inmates. I served papers, served warrants, picked up committals and did a lot of transports with meeting other counties on the county line.”

In his experience, he also deals with the public more often as a city officer than a sheriff’s deputy.

“You’re more in the public eye being on the Police Department,” he said. “You’re always in the city and on main roads. Out in the county you can lose yourself for awhile and get on some gravel roads. You’re still in the public eye then, but I don’t feel it’s as much as being a city officer.”

He added that he enjoys interacting with the public.

“I like to leave a better taste of law enforcement in people’s mouths,” Harris said. “Being able to make contact with more people makes a big difference.”

Harris became interested in law enforcement because of a desire to have a job where he dealt with a different situation every day.

“In law enforcement you can be in it 20 years and you still learn something different,” he said. “I like the unknown. I don’t know what’s going to happen every day, and I like that.”

So far, Harris said those experiences with the FDPD have been beneficial.

“My other two jobs allowed me to mature to be able to handle different situations I might encounter,” Harris said. “It’s just allowed me to get acclimated to it. My previous experience allowed me to cut my teeth before coming here and cutting my teeth even more.”

He also had praise of his fellow officers in the department.

“With the number of guys we have here, there’s always somebody to help you, always somebody to go on a call with you,” he said. “If you don’t know something, somebody else does.”

That especially helped him when he was going through his field training, which is required for all new officers regardless of experience.

“They had no problem letting me know how things work and showing me how everything works instead of just telling me how to do it,” he said.

Chief Tim Carmody said he believes Harris has done well on the department and will continue to do so.

“We’re excited about having Cody here because he brings those life experiences,” Carmody said. “He’s still learning, but he has an open mind and passion for service and getting the job done.”

“I’m confident he’ll do an excellent job for us.”