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Letter: Relationship building is the key

John Swanson

I was fortunate to be selected for this spring’s Citizen’s Police Academy class; something I would encourage everyone to look into.

Over the 10-week class we learned about every tactical unit within the Cedar Rapids Police Department. We met with SWAT, bomb squad, cyber crime, CSI, narcotics and the other highly specialized units that make our city safe, as well as provide the investigative follow-up to properly prosecute offenders.

We spent side-by-side time with patrol officers and radio dispatchers to better understand what goes on during a normal shift. Officers never know what to expect and must make split-second decisions regarding their personal safety as well as properly interpreting and enforcing our laws.

My take-away after completing the course? We are fortunate to have an enlightened police department that is proactive on building relationships with the community. The Gazette article highlighting the Police Community Action Team is a perfect example of how CRPD is putting feet on the ground to foster positive understandings and broad-based public safety (“Connections & relationships,” July 6).

Thank you, Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman, for making this one of your top priorities and to the Cedar Rapids City Council for echoing his stance.

John Swanson

Cedar Rapids

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