Iowa police chief admits officers’ window tinting not legal

(Cedar Rapids Police Facebook)
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KWQC) – Window tinting has been removed from half a dozen Cedar Rapids police department vehicles after the police chief admitted the tinting violated state law.

The matter came to light when a motorist identified as “Concerned Cedar Rapidian” emailed the city’s mayor and council members on October 8.

Concerned Cedar Rapidian wrote they themselves were ticketed by a Cedar Rapids officer for having windows deemed too dark under Iowa law.

“I was informed 70% light transmission is the legal limit and explained basically any tint added to a factory window would make it a violation,” the motorist wrote in the email.

“I was over and am guilty.”

However, the ticketed driver then complained about “the blatant disregard and hypocritical enforcement of state law by the Cedar Rapids Police Department.”

The motorist said they felt the officer issuing the citation appeared to have tinting that was too dark, and then “out of curiosity I walked around the police department’s parking lot and even through the fence it was easy to see many vehicles with excessive tint.”

The cited driver argued Iowa's tinting law allows no exemption for law enforcement.

Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman responded to the email Friday – and admitted the motorist is correct.

“We discovered six department vehicles and a small number of employee vehicles were not in compliance with State law regarding tinting of windows,” Jerman wrote in his response which he shared with media outlets.

“Staff believed that a previous law enforcement exemption was still active under the State Administrative Code. This was found to be inaccurate.”

Jerman wrote “corrective action has taken place and the tinting has been removed from these six vehicles” and that police department employees must also make sure their personal vehicles are in compliance.

“Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention,” Jerman wrote to the motorist.

Iowa’s tint law applies to a vehicle’s windshield and front-window tint, while rear-seat and back windows are not regulated.

Click here to read an explanation of Iowa’s window tinting regulations posted by the Iowa Department of Transportation.