Hero honored

State Center recognizes late police chief






Iowa State Police Association

Jake Osgood was a dedicated law enforcement officer, a principled man who care for the community he served and protected.

Colorful, funny, but always professional, Osgood was the face of law enforcement in the State Center, a small community of about 1,500 people in Marshall County, situated along Highway 30 between Ames and Marshalltown.

From 1990-98, Osgood was the chief of police for State Center, whose charge it was to protect those who called the bedroom community home.

“He was a very dedicated, old school police officer, who loved State Center, loved being around other officers and going on calls,” said current State Center Police Chief Jeff Bunn, who succeeded Osgood following his retirement from law enforcement. “Jake was very fair and compassionate, full of life, loved to joke with other officers, a great guy.”

Osgood’s departure from the job in 1998 followed a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis, a medical ailment that would prevent him from doing his job effectively.

And when Osgood passed away in 2018, Osgood’s four children and Bunn wanted to do something to showcase their appreciation as well as the appreciation of the entire community.

A little more than a year after Osgood’s passing, Bunn and other community members came together to celebrate the late officer’s life and dedicated a stone in front of the State Center Police Department.

The stone, situated at the base of the SCPD’s flag pole reads: “In memory of Jake Osgood. In recognition of his loyalty and dedication to protect and serve the City of State Center. Chief of Police 1990-1998. Mayor 2006-2010.”

The latter part of the dedication indicated that even though Osgood had to step away from his duties as police chief, he still wanted a way to be active in the community. Bunn convinced Osgood that he could serve the community in a different way.

Bunn persuaded him to seek office, not terribly different in how Osgood convinced Bunn to serve as State Center’s next police chief.

“He called me within minutes of me accepting a different position in a different community,” Bunn said, adding that Osgood knew Bunn would be the right person to inherit the police chief mantle. “He knew that our values and the way we conducted ourselves were very similar. I’m forever grateful to him.”

Bunn was not alone in his admiration for Osgood. At the ceremony, which was held during State Center’s Rose Festival weekend, current State Center Mayor Steve Sodders, a former Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy and Osgood’s predecessor as State Center police chief, as well as current Marshall County Sheriff Steve Hoffman, shared their praise for their colleague.

Hoffman, in fact, for many years, organizes a team of cyclists to participate in an MS bike event, raising money for MS research. “Team Jake” rides every summer in honor of Osgood.

Bunn said Osgood’s time as both police chief and as the community’s mayor, should not be forgotten.

“He left his mark,” Bunn said. “We owe Jake a lot.”

Jeff Hutton serves as coordinator of charitable giving and public relations for the Iowa State Police Association. He can be reached at

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