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Madrid Residents Pack City Council Meeting to Discuss Rumor of Dissolving Police Department

MADRID, Iowa  --  Madrid's city council meeting was packed on Monday night as the council repeatedly rejected the idea of dissolving the police department, calling it an online rumor.

While the rumor gained traction online, the idea of dissolving the department and having Boone County deputies patrol the town was discussed.

Mayor Dirk Ringgenberg abruptly resigned last week citing those lawsuits against the police department. One was settled out of court for $50,000 and the other is still in litigation. Council members say Ringgenberg was looking into the possibility of having deputies patrol the town in case Madrid's insurer dropped them because of the lawsuits. Madrid's police chief says the department has already made changes at the request of their insurer.

"The insurance company requested that we go through this lexapol training, we are doing that. They have asked us to do additional training with the police department, we have done that. They've asked us to upgrade our body cameras and have a policy to use them more, we have done that," he said.

Those changes aren't enough for some people in the town, though. While most people at the council meeting wanted to keep the police department, others seemed open to doing away with it.

The Madrid City Council says it is taking no action to dissolve the police department. In a symbolic move, the council also voted to reject Mayor Ringgenberg's resignation.