MUSCATINE, Iowa–After about five months on the job, Muscatine County Sheriff Quinn Riess accepted the Muscatine Rotary Club’s invitation to present to them. During his conversational talk, Riess shared what members of the sheriff’s office do and answered questions about life on the job.
Riess started by sharing a little bit about himself. He first started working for the sheriff’s office doing courthouse security in 1999 and worked his way up to the rank of captain before getting elected sheriff in 2020. Riess found that his years of experience in a variety of positions with the Sheriff’s office helped prepare him to lead. Though working as a sheriff requires working long hours and taking on unexpected responsibilities, Riess enjoys his new position. “I love what I do,” he proudly declared.
Riess then went into the different aspects of what the sheriff’s office does. Along with the mundane tasks sheriffs and their deputies do for the pubic, including rounding up loose cattle and conducting traffic stops on county roads, Riess shared the sheriff’s office does much more. Their responsibilities include running the Muscatine County Jail and managing its more than 200 inmates, including over 140 federal prisoners; running water search and rescue operations across the state, investigating and storing evidence for crimes committed in the county, and busting drug and human trafficking rings.
After providing this background, Riess opened the floor up to questions. During this time, Riess elaborated on the procedures for when and how to dispose of evidence after the department and court system no longer needs it and how patters of gang violence and drug use have changed over time. Riess also spoke about vaccinating inmates for COVID-19, explaining that Trinity Muscatine Pubic Health had voluntarily vaccinated about 144 prisoners with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine about a month and a half ago and how quarantine procedures have helped keep the number of positive COVID-19 cases in the jail quite low. “We haven’t had but one or two cases in the jail,” he observed.
Along with hearing from Riess, the Rotary Club also took the opportunity to honor three of their members. Diana Gradert, John Kuhl, and Craig Utley each earned a Pall Harris Fellow Awards for contributing $1,000 or more to the Rotary Foundation. Gradert earned special recognition for having made $3,000 in donation and Utley for offering $2,000 of support. Each recipient received a pin denoting the number of additional donations they made with small sapphires