When is the Law Enforcement Center open?
Our dispatch center remains open 24 hours a day.  To contact a specific officer, please call the non-emergency number and check with the dispatcher to learn when he/she works next.
How long can I park on the streets of Estherville?
In the downtown areas, there is no parking allowed from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m.  A vehicle may remain parked for a period of 18 hours in the residential neighborhoods, and 24 house in a city parking lot.  
When the National Weather Service predicts 2 or more inches of snow, or if new snow accumulation has reached 2 inches at KILR Radio Station, no person shall park, abandon, or leave unattended any vehicle on any portions of any public streets or alleys connecting to such streets between the hours of 2:00 am and 8:00 am, or until such time as the snow has been cleared from the street, except parking shall be allowed on the west side of North 7th Street and Central Avenue and 1st Avenue North until the City commences cleanup in the Central Business District.
Can I ride a 4-wheeler or golf cart on the street in the city limits of Estherville?
You can under the following conditions:  
1.  The driver must have a valid driver's license.
2. The driver does not drive on private property without permission.
3. The vehicle is equipped with all the original equipment from the manufacturer.
4. The driver obeys all traffic laws.
5. The vehicle is not operated on parks or public land.
6. The owner or driver carries proof of financial responsibility.
7. The vehicle is currently registered.
8. Golf carts must display an orange flag or slow moving vehicle sign or both.
9. You cannot legally drive on highways such as Hwy 4 and Hwy 9. You may cross highways but you
     may not travel on them. The solution to getting across the Des Moines river is to use the sidewalk
     on the south side of the Central Avenue bridge.
Do we have any gang activity in Estherville?
Yes, we do.  There have been signs of activity for many years, most of it being graffiti.  Some say that it's just kids being kids; but signs establish territories, and rivals often resort to violence as a way to take over a territory.
What are some of the penalties for O.W.I.
If you test .08 or more you will lose your license for 6 months for a first offense. If you refuse to take the test you will lose your license for 1 years for a first offense.
What is the difference between operating while intoxicated (O.W.I) and a .02 violation?
A .02 violation is an administrative violation (which applies to persons under the age of 21), and an O.W.I. is a criminal action.
What number should I call for road conditions and weather information?
Call the Iowa State Department of Transportation by dialing 511 or 1-800-288-1047.
If I need an answer to a question not posted here, what should I do?
You should stop at the Law Enforcement Center (114 North 6th Street) to visit with a dispatcher or a police officer, or dial 712-362-3515.
Other Area Police/Sheriff
State of Iowa Agencies

Iowa General Assembly - IA Legislative Branch (House and Senate)
Iowa Dept. of Public Safety - Incl. The Iowa Dept of Criminal Investigation, Narcotics Enforcement, Intelligence and Fusion Center, State Fire Marshall Division, Iowa State Patrol
Iowa Dept. of Transportation (DOT)
Iowa DOT Department of Motor Vehicles
Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI)
Iowa Division of Fire Marshall
Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement (DNE)
Iowa Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) - training, testing, and standards for IA peace officers, telecommunicators, and jailers
Iowa Sex Offender Registry
Iowa State Patrol - traffic enforcement & also assistance to county, municipal, & federal agencies in large scale events & natural disasters
Dept. of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau
US Federal  Crime Agencies
Emergency Management/Homeland Security
International Policing

Interpol - world's largest policing org w/ 190 member countries
Estherville Area Emergency Notifications
Estherville Police Department Social Media
Local Weather Forcast
Missing Children
Substance Abuse / Addiction

Illegal Street Drugs Information
Iowa Substance Abuse Information Center - Alcohol, Drugs, Prescription Drugs, Gambling, Mental Health
Officers and Officers Families Assistance
Kid's Pages
Crime Prevention
Crime Prevention

Crime Prevention

Taking Precautions
By: Officer Terry Watters, Ret.
Estherville Police Department


crime prevention triangle

Every new rookie who goes through the law enforcement academy is taught that three things are necessary for a crime.
The first is Ability. In other words, the person who desires to commit a crime must have the physical ability to do so.
Next is Opportunity. S/he must be "in the right place at the right time" to commit the crime.
The last thing necessary is Desire, a need or wish to take away a person's property.
If we take away one just one of the sides, the triangle collapses! Since we can't control a persons' ability to commit a crime, we need to focus on removing the other two.


HouseLockLocks are probably the first things that a homeowner or businessman considers in terms of security. When you shop for a lock, there are a few things that you should look for.
First, the portion of the lock that extends into the door jam should be at least one inch long. It should be made of hardened steel or have a hardened steel bolt inserted into it. Last, don't be afraid to spend a little extra money. Remember the old adage "you get what you pay for."

PadlockWhen a deadbolt lock can't secure something, think about using a padlock.
Things to look for here are:
A loop that locks on both sides, a case hardened loop, a case that will withstand repeated blows from a hammer or pry bar.
But the best system is only as good as its weakest link. Don't forget that the hasp is also an important part of the system too.

Now that we have some ideas on removing the ability, let's look at taking away the desire.

Security CameraIf a would-be burglar thinks that he is likely to be discovered, he may think twice about committing the crime. There are a number of things you can do to give the appearance that this may happen.
Sometimes just a simple window decal indicating that a burglar alarm is in place (even if it's not) is enough to deter a would be bad-guy.
An inexpensive light timer is also a good idea. Buy a couple and place them in different rooms of your home or business to give it that "lived in" look. You can even hook one up to a radio to complete the deception.

A simple strategy that doesn't cost you anything is to keep the shrubbery around your home trimmed and away from the windows and doors. This way if a burglar is attempting to get into your home, a passing motorist or a neighbor may see him and call police.


It's during vacations that the home is most vulnerable. Homeowners away for more than just a few hours give the bad guy an opportunity to "case the joint" and plan how to burglarize the structure.
HomeSafeDuringVacationThere are some simple rules:
First, have the U.S. mail stopped during the time you will be gone.
Next give a house key to a trusted neighbor and ask him/her to watch the home. You can even suggest that s/he park a car in the driveway.
Using a light timer is even more important now that you will be gone for an extended length of time.
Last, notify your local law enforcement agency of your absence. If an emergency occurs, they will have a phone number to contact you.

By remembering the "crime triangle" a homeowner can take simple steps to make their home safe and secure.

Remember: Ability, Opportunity, Desire.

Most of all, don't hesitate to call 911!

This is just a small sample of the things you can do to make your home or business more secure. If you have questions or comments please call, stop in, or e-mail us. We look forward to hearing from you.

About The Author

Terry Watters is a recently retired 30-year veteran of law enforcement and was with the Estherville Police Department from 1984 through 2008. During that time, he attended classes for crime prevention certification, street crimes training , and classes on youth gangs and deviant groups.

Local Crime Statistics
Estherville Police Department Annual Report
Estherville Police Department Monthly Report