The Story of James Trimble - DARE instructor

"James Trimble, the fired Urbandale police officer who stole $20,000 worth of methamphetamine from his department, was spared prison Thursday for his felony drug conviction. Judge Leo Oxberger sentenced Trimble to two years' probation, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community service.

'I'm convinced this is a one-time incident for you,' the judge said. The sentence angered prosecutors, who along with presentence investigators recommended up to 10 years in prison for the crime."

"About 4 a.m. on New Year's Day, Trimble was arrested driving his mother's van in an inner-city Des Moines neighborhood.

Police say they found about 7 ounces - $20,000 worth - of methamphetamine, in addition to marijuana, LSD and cocaine." ...

"Authorities said numerous sexually explicit videotapes and pictures were found in the van, including photos of Trimble. He had a battery-operated sexual device inserted in his body when arrested, police said." ...

"The 18-year veteran headed Urbandale's Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and acted as liaison officer between police and the suburb's schools." He had also coached ninth-grade girls' basketball and volleyball. "We don't just teach kids what drugs look like," Trimble said in a 1992 interview. "We teach life skills needed to say no to drugs, alcohol and tobacco." ...

"Trimble, 44, is required to spend his community-service time giving anti-drug speeches to students. He conducted such talks as a police officer in Urbandale schools."

"Drug Posession Charge for DARE officer" - The Des Moines Register, Tuesday, January 2, 1995, Page 1A. - "'Scores' of sex-oriented items are also found in the van driven by police veteran James Trimble."

"Shock, anger follow arrest of policeman" - The Des Moines Register, Wednesday, January 3, 1996, Page 1A. - "Urbadale youths looked up to James Trimble, who encouraged them to lead responsible, drug-free lives. 'I feel we have to be more careful of who we put in charge of your kids.' -- Brad Van Horn, parent"

"Trimble's wife accuses him of domestic abuse after dispute" - The Des Moines Register, Wednesday, January 3, 1996, Page 1A.

Judge says probation, not prison, for Trimble - The Des Moines Register Friday, May 17, 1996, Page 1A.

"The Register's Readers Say: Trimble sentence a travesty of justice" - The Des Moines Register Saturday, May 25, 1996, Page 10A. - "I've heard of diplomatic immunity, but I've never heard of police immunity. You mean to tell me that what James Trimble did to the children of Urbandale by 'not doing what he said' is not punishable by more than a $l,000 fine and 100 hours of community service? Where will be do his community service - in the Urbandale schools?"

No justice in Trimble sentence, critics say - The Des Moines Register Tuesday, May 28, 1996, Page 1A. - "Fired Urbandale police officer James Trimble was arrested with $20,000 in stolen methamphetamine yet he got no jail or prison time at all."

An Unreasonable System - The Des Moines Register Saturday, June 1 1996, Page 8A. - "Trimble sentence may seem unfair but rigid rules would be worse"

"A Stiffer Sentence than James Trimble's" - The Des Moines Register Thursday, July 4, 1996, Page 8A.

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