A tough year

Worth County Deputies NORTHWOOD, IA

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NORTHWOOD, Iowa- You may remember earlier this year we told you about a North Iowa City Council deciding to eliminate its police department.

So that meant the Worth County Sheriff’s Office took over law enforcement responsibilities in Northwood in May.

Since then, they’ve had to investigate several high-profile crimes in the city.

The first one happened on June 5th, when a man and woman were stabbed at Schoolside Apartments.

Donald Baker is planning to plead guilty in that case later this month.

On August 5th, Justina Smith was stabbed and killed in a park in Northwood.

Tyrone Washington is charged with her murder, and just two weeks ago, Michael Zubrod died in police custody after authorities say he stabbed and beat a woman in an apartment.

Which leaves this year marking one of the busiest so far for Sheriff Jay Langenbau, in fact, he says the crime rate is the highest he’s seen in Worth County, in years.

“I don’t know why it’s all happened in Northwood, it’s unfortunately the bigger city here in WorthCounty has the most incidents that happen,” said Langenbau.

And Langenbau wants to clear the air for those who believe the recent crimes are somehow related.

“It’s not isolated thing, they’re not related, it’s not a race thing, it’s not a city thing or anything like that it’s something that these three incidents that happened totally different incidents,” said Langenbau.

While it’s hard to hear about stabbings and murders from your neighbors or on the news, Langenbau says many might not think about what the deputies have to go through at the scene of a crime, especially when you’re brand new.

That’s the case right now in Worth County, where there are four new deputies on the force.

“Sometimes it’s a boring job because all you do is drive around sometimes waiting for a call and that but like this last incident one of the deputies driving around gets flagged down by a person and that person is saying help we need help, it goes from instantly from boredom to instant adrenaline is rushing,” said Langenbau.

But even the Sheriff knows that it’s something no amount of training can prepare you for, or how you will deal with it afterward, so those with experience have to be ready to offer their support.

“We do talk to deputies quite a bit, like this last incident that happened myself and a couple other supervisors kept in contact with the officers that were involved in everything just to make sure that they are feeling OK with what happened,” said Langenbau.

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