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. By STEPHANIE ARMOUR 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 methamphetamine. 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 officer. 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 district. "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 methamphetamine. "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." SCHOOL ROLES 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.