The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office and Jail is operated out of the Joint Wapello County/City of Ottumwa Law Enforcement Center. Opened in November 2000 Sheriff Phillips supervises his Office and 129 bed Jail Facility. Wapello County is currently ranked 19th in population in Iowa out of the 99 counties within Iowa.


The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office is located at 330 W. 2nd St. in Ottumwa, Iowa.  Ottumwa being the County Seat of Wapello County.  The Sheriff’s Office and Jail is in a shared facility with the Ottumwa Police Department.  The Joint Law Enforcement Center as it is referred was finished in November of 2000 and was funded through a local sales tax incentive.


The Sheriff’s Office currently has a budgeted staff of 40 employee’s and operate 24 hours a day everyday.  The Sheriff’s Office also operates the Jail, provides Court Security, Civil Process Service and Law Enforcement protection in serving a County approaching 40,000 in population.  Our 12 Patrol Deputies cover nearly 800 miles of unincorporated roadways and handle incidents such as traffic accidents, domestic disputes, serve civil process and the multitude of calls that Law Enforcement encounters to preserve the peace.

Sex Offender Registry

The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office is also responsible for registering all Sex Offenders required to regisiter within Wapello County.  As per Iowa Law all up to date registry information the Wapello County Sheriff’s Office receives is timely forwarded to the Department of Public Safety (Sex Offender Registry) in an effort to maintain an accurate State of Iowa Sex Offender Registry Data Base.


Our 911 Communications Center dispatches Patrol Deputies, as well as monitoring  a significant portion of our Jail facility through video surveillance and electronic door security.  The Communication Center also dispatches for 9 volunteer EMS and/or Fire Department’s and the Ottumwa Regional Health Center’s Ambulance Service (ORMICS).  Our Communication Specialist’s handled over 12,000 calls for service last year, which includes nearly 2,500 911 calls.

Jail Facility

Our Jail facility has a rating to house 148 inmates and last year had an average daily population of 95.  Nearly 3,000 individuals were booked into our facility in 2020. Our Jail Administrator and Assistant Jail Administrator supervise the Correctional Officer Staff COI’s, the Communication Specialists/CO II’s and the Kitchen Staff.

Rescue and Recovery

The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office maintain’s two boats for Rescue and Recovery operations as needed and is also equipped with a Polaris Ranger multi-purpose vehicle for use during situations where terrain is difficult to traverse.

Sheriff’s Reserve

The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office is also supplemented by the Sheriff’s Reserve Unit that assists the Sheriff’s Office in an assortment of different ways from security at the county fair to crime scene security.  The Sheriff’s Reserve also holds it’s fundraiser in late fall each year to help Wapello County families at Christmas time and in other ways throughout the year.