Shell Rock Police Chief dies unexpectedly

The longtime chief of police in a Northeast Iowa town has died, leaving the town of around 1,200 without a police department.

Louis John Staudt, 58, of Shell Rock, died Monday at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, Minn., according to an obituary.

His death was unexpected, according to Shell Rock Mayor Larry Young.

Staudt had recently celebrated 35 years with the Shell Rock Police Department, beginning in 1983. Young said he was the lone police officer for about 30 of those years.

“He’s gonna be missed, he really is,” Young said Tuesday. “He fills that spot in the community that your local police officer fills.”

In fact, Staudt was the entire Shell Rock Police Department, meaning the Butler County Sheriff’s Office will cover the town until the Shell Rock City Council decides on a course of action.

“Right now, all things are on the table,” Young said, including hiring another police chief or contracting with the county for all law enforcement services.

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