On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Decorah Police Department activated a new electronic Bias Reporting System. According to Police Chief Dave Smutzler, "We have been working with Luther College, who already has a system in place for such reporting, on the creation and implementation of this new system. Luther College has been a great avenue of assistance for us, as well as an excellent working partner on this project."

"This reporting mechanism was borne out of the realization of the reporting shortcoming of our City/agency," Smutzler said.

"This electronic reporting mechanism will help us to fill this void," Smutzler continued. "We want to make certain that we have as many avenues as possible for reporting.Anyone wishing to report an incident of bias can now do so via our Decorah Police Department’s webpage, https://www.decorahia.org/police-department. There is a tab for the bias report located on the site. Reporting individuals may submit a report and include contact information or remain anonymous. We have a Bias Report Response Team that will handle all reports that are submitted.We are still available to take these reports in person, but if anyone has a hesitation in making the report (for whatever reason) the option of anonymity is now provided. I see this as a win/win for our community and department. In the past, if someone were reluctant to speak to an officer we may never have learned about an incident. We would have been unable to help a victim and now we can. If an incident is never reported, we cannot investigate and rectify an issue that has occurred, and possibly prevent it from happening again."

Smutzler expressed appreciation to Luther College’s Vice President of Intuitional Equity and Inclusion, Lisa Scott, PhD, who was instrumental in the creation of this reporting mechanism.