The goal of the Patrol Division is to address community problems and assure a safe community environment through directed and routine patrol. As the largest and most visible division of the Police Department, the Patrol Division provides the first response to emergency and non-emergency incidents.
Since 1996 the Bicycle Patrol Unit continues to interact with the community while providing security at several of Burlington's special events. During these events the Bicycle Patrol Officers are able to meet with citizens of the community. Not only does the Bicycle Patrol interact with the public, but they also are effective in patrolling the streets of Burlington. The Bicycle Patrol is able to answer calls for service in a more silent mode. Because of this, Bicycle Officers are able to see and hear incidents differently than Officers driving squad cars. This enables the Bicycle Officers to catch criminals in the act instead of the perpetrator hearing the squad car engine and fleeing prior to Officers arriving on scene.
The water patrol unit was established in 2001. The water patrol unit is comprised of specially trained officers for water patrol duties. Duties include patrolling waters within the city limits, watercraft safety checks, conduct cabin checks on Otter Island, as well as assisting other agencies with emergency situations.
The Animal Control Unit consists of one part-time Animal Control Officer (ACO). The ACO supports the Patrol Division with enforcing the City Code of Burlington. Some of the duties and responsibilities of the ACO include picking up dogs and cats that are running at large and setting live traps for cats. Additionally, the ACO investigates and completes animal bite reports, verifies rabies vaccination on animals involved in bites and oversees the proper quarantine of the animals involved in the bites. The ACO also investigates complaints of animal abuse and neglect as well as notices the owner of animals impounded and assists the Des Moines County Humane Society and local veterinarians with euthanasia of unwanted animals.
The ACO investigates vicious animal complaints and brings suspected vicious animal cases before the Animal Hearing Board. The Hearing Board determines if the animal is vicious or not.