Orange City, Iowa — The 2018 Orange City Tulip Festival is underway, with attractions, food, and activities for everyone. But in the background stand a small group of people whose mission it is to keep visitors and townspeople safe.

When you attend this year’s Tulip Festival you will be see, among the authentic Dutch costumes, men dressed in blue, with badges on their chests. These are the members of the Orange City Police Department, who are charged with maintaining order and safety during the festival.

We talked to Orange City Police Chief Jim Pottebaum, and asked him how his department copes with a ten-fold increase in population for three days in May. He says the biggest issue is traffic.

Pottebaum says that, somewhat surprisingly, there never seems to be a significant increase in crime during each year’s Tulip Festival.

The Chief says his seven-man department, plus a couple of part-timers, has up to five officers on the street at any one time during the festival weekend.

He says that, with such large crowds, The Orange City Police Department just wants to be sure everyone is safe.

Of course, if Orange City officers need assistance, deputies from the Sioux County Sheriff’s Office, as well as troopers from the Iowa State Patrol, are available for call during the weekend.

Orange City’s 2018 Tulip Festival began Thursday morning and ends with a Community Worship Service Sunday morning.

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