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Citizen's Police Academy: Week 8

Updated: Thursday, May 8 2014, 11:53 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- CBS 2 and FOX 28 continue to take you behind the scenes of the Cedar Rapids Police Department with the 'Citizen's Police Academy'.

This week, we're taking a look at the Special Response Team (SRT), and the work they do in the midst of high pressure, tension filled situations.

Barricaded suspects - Check.

Presidential Visits - Check.

Hostage situations - Check.

It's all part of the job for the Cedar Rapids Special Response Team. In the middle of chaos, there is one mission for these 26 men and women:

"A peaceful resolution to a dangerous or high risk situation that is beyond the basic capability of normal patrol function," says Sgt. Jason Weininger with the Cedar Rapids Police Department.

It's one of the more physically demanding jobs at the department. The training is rigorous. Members of SRT average 20 hours a month of practice. In addition, the gear that they use - from air packs, to ballistic shields to distraction devices - is fairly heavy.
A lot of their job is dealing with danger, but it's not all bomb threats and active shooter situations. Part of their job is actually neighborhood watch. It's a vital aspect, considering the city's recent uptick in crime.

"High crime areas, a part of a neighborhood that's had a lot of issues...we'll go in and focus on it," Weininger says.

On these 'Special Enforcement Projects,' he says sometimes it's simply talking to neighbors to figure out the where the issues are stemming from. Other times, it's more aggressive.

"We know who the heavy hitters are, and we just go looking for them," he says.

Generally, by the time they finish the project, the situation improves.

"Anybody that's not supposed to be out and about causing trouble is not out and about causing trouble," Weininger

After that, the message is sent.

"This neighborhood belongs to the people that live here, it belongs to the city... it belongs to us."

Next week, we take a look at internal affairs. Make sure you join us for all of it, right here, every Thursday, for the Citizen's Police Academy.Citizen's Police Academy: Week 8

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