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The Des Moines Register, Wednesday, January 3, 1996, 1A

'I feel we have to be more careful of who we put in charge of
your kids.'
-- Brad Van Horn, parent

Shock, anger follow arrest of policman

Urbadale youths looked up to James Trimble, who encouraged them
to lead responsible, drug-free lives.

Register Staff Writer

     Urbandale, Ia. -- For years. Angie Van Horn believed her
basketball coach was dedicated to keeping kids off drugs.
     Now the 15-year-old doesn't know what to believe.
     Early Tnesday morning, her parents told her that James R.
Trimble -- an Urbandale police officer and long-time coach -- had
been arrested.  The liaison officer with the Urbandale school
district is charged with trafficking in marijuana and
     Police also say Trimble -- found with a sexual device
insented in his body -- was driving around with scores of sex-
oriented videotapes and pictures, including photos of himself.  A
Des Moines woman was arrested with him.
     "I looked up to him as a teachcr," Angie said of Trimble,
who had been the ninth-grade girls' basketball coach.  "He would
tell us not to do drugs and what they can do to you,  I'm kind of
angry, because he was teaching me not to do that kind of stuff."
     Angie's not alone.  Parents, students and co-workers who
know Trimble expressed anger and shock at news of the arrest.
     Trimble. an 18-year veteran of the Urbandale force, coached
ninth-grade girls' basketball and volleyball.  He also was an
officer with the district's Drug Abuse Resistance Education
(D.A.R.E.) program.

"A Hollow Spot"
     Family members also said they were stunned.
     "I just have a big hollow spot," said his mother, Beverly
Trimble.  "I'm too upset.  Until I have a chance to talk to my
son, I have no comment.  If you would let this subject drop, it
would give the family some peace."
     Starting today, the Urbandale district will launch a "crisis
plan" -- holding group meetings and visits with counselors to
discuss Trimble's arrest.
     In light of some of the sexual material found with Trimble,
administrators said they will probably talk with students to see
if anyone felt uncomfortable with, or was threatened by, the
     Trimble has been suspended by the police department and the
school district.
     As a D.A.R.E. officer, he was one of several police members
who would talk to young people about staying off drugs.  The 17-
week program is aimed at fifth-graders.
     He was described as a somewhat tempermental basketball coach
who would cheer at football games and sit in on drug-abuse
panels.  His daughter is a student in the Urbandale school

"People Are In Shock"
     "A lot of people are in shock," said Urbandale Police Chief
David Hamlin.  "He had a good background and devoted the last
five years to working with young people.  It makes it more
difficult to understand."
     But some parents said they don't understand why Trimble was
working with kids in the first place.
     "We're very surprised and upset at the school system," said
Brad Van Horn, Angie's father.  "I feel we have to be more
careful of who we put in charge of your kids.  It stands to
reason you can trust a police officer."
     Some said they were troubled by the sexual smorgasbord
discovered with Trimble.
     He had "all kinds of sexually explicit" material, said Des
Moines police Sgt. Bill Judkins.  Police said Trimble had a
sexual device connected to a battery pack inserted in his body.
     School officials described Trimble as "very actcve" in
student activities, although not at the elementaty level.
     "We are shocked and saddened by this," said Len Cockman, an
Urbandale school spokesman.
     But some said there should be few surprises when it comes to
     "Quite frankly, I can tell you we've been involved in
investigating every race, every nationality, almost every
occupatIon you can think of," said Des Moines police Lt. Russell
Underwood.  "Now there's a police officer, which is devastating."


Urbandale officer James Trimble was involved in:

* Coaching ninth-grade girls' basketball and volleyball in the
Urbandale school district.

* Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or D.A.R.E., as a school
liaison officer.

* Quest, a program at Urbandale Middle School that aims to build
character and values.
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