Iowa City Police Log to become a coffee table book

The Iowa City Police Log, a Twitter account holding over 12,000 followers, will soon become a coffee table book for readers to better understand Iowa City.


Daniel McGregor-Huyer

Chris Patton, the man behind the ICPD police log, standing in front of the Alder Journalism Building.

Alexandra Skores, Managing Editor

For more than five years, Iowa City resident and UI graduate Chris Patton has logged over 15,000 excerpts from the Iowa City Police Log on a Twitter account with (currently) over 12,000 followers. Patton would spend between seven and 10 hours a week sifting through logs of police calls on the Iowa City website. Now, he’s publishing a 200-page coffee table book with 10,000 entries that are “often ridiculous, sometimes enraging, occasionally touching, always entirely unique.”

The book, “The Iowa City Police Log: Life and Strife in a Midwestern College Town,” is currently on pre-sale with Little Village magazine, and will be delivered in October. Publisher Matt Steele said that the, “police log was a genius way of forcing the town to reckon with itself.”

Little Village, Steele said, is “keeping a watchful eye” and making sure the posts within the book are meaningful.

“It’s an interesting project because you don’t want to be taking anything lightly,” Steele said. “There’s people that have had traumatic experiences with law enforcement.”

There were a few instances involving race or identifying individuals as “riding around” or “looking suspicious,” Patton said. He said he always tried to publish what displayed a clear depiction of Iowa City, both humorous and on a more serious note. Profits from the book will be donated to the Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, United Action for Youth, and the Shelter House.


Posted by Iowa City Police Log on Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Daniel Frana, a comedian and friend of Patton’s, has worked with and known Patton for more than five years. The two participated in the Floodwater Comedy Festival, an annual festival in downtown Iowa City. Frana said one of his best memories with Patton is watching him read from the police log for people to laugh. He even said Patton had someone dress as a raccoon to recreate a log from the book.

“He always had a great turnout,” Frana said.

Patton said he hasn’t fully decided what will come after the book is on the market, but all profits from the book will go to Neighborhood Centers of Johnson County, Shelter House, and United Action for Youth. The book is available on the Little Village website.

“I pulled everything that I found to be interesting,” Patton said. “There’s humorous content, more serious content as well — it paints a picture of life in Iowa City.”