In the last 15 days there have been 18 calls for service to the Mount Pleasant Police Department for the Christamore House located at 905 S Iris Rd in Mount Pleasant. The facility was supposed to be shut down due to staff unable to handle the minors placed at the facility. Mount Pleasant Police Chief Lyle Murray has contacted the Department of Human Services twice on this facility due to broken windows, broken furniture, minors climbing out of windows, fighting in the streets, assaults on staff members, and inappropriate sexual relations on campus.
According to Police Chief Murray, “We have filed charges any time we can, but if they are not serious enough, they do not go to a locked facility. Therefore they just keep doing more and more crimes.“ Because the minors are placed at the Christamore House on DHS and Court ordered placement they do not meet the criteria for the Mount Pleasant Police Department to move them to a different location or facility.
Police Chief Murray also states, “It is my understanding that Cedar Rapids (who sent some of these girls) have a locked facility but easier to deal with girls. We have an unlocked facility with the more serious girls.”
In the call for service yesterday three minors ran away from the facility and were found in the pond directly across the driveway. There were four police officers, a deputy, and a community service officer on scene. Police Chief Murray states, “This is a waste of the police resources. One girl walked out and staff told her to stay and she said no and kept going.”
The fear is that serious harm will come to a minor or staff member at the facility with the trajectory actions are escalating. Many of the limited staff at the Christamore House are prepared to quit as they are unable to handle the treatment and lack of support any longer.
The Mount Pleasant Police Department is asking Henry County Residents for help. Support the police department by reaching out to your legislators and asking for support and action on this matter.
Below is a link to find your State Senator and Representative because Henry County was split after redistricting as well as contact information for State Representatives Jeff Shipley and Taylor Collins, and State Senators Adrian Dickey and Mark Lofgren.
Find your legislator by your address: https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislators/find
State Representative Jeff Shipley: firstname.lastname@example.org Cell Phone: 319.432.3108 Capitol Phone: 515.281.3221
State Senator Adrian Dickey: email@example.com Capitol Phone: 515.281.3371
State Representative Taylor Collins: firstname.lastname@example.org Capitol Phone: 515.281.3221
State Senator Mark Lofgren: email@example.com Capitol Phone: 515.281.3371