Volume 10 | January 2019
Cedar Rapids Police Department
Monthly News and Information
Welcome to the Official Monthly Newsletter of the Cedar Rapids Police Department. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and continue to make Cedar Rapids a safe place to live, work, or visit.
Community Engagement
Thank you for the opportunity to connect with you through several activities and events over the past month. Here are highlights of a few of those events.
Students from Prairie Point, which is part of College Community Schools, met with School Resource Officer Janae Obbink and Police PAL Shannon Sampson to create a video explaining the day in the life of a School Resource Officer (SRO). There are 8 SROs that address day-to-day issues at the schools, work with school administrators and teachers, and serve as a resource for students. Opportunities to establish positive relationships with students, motivate them to be civic-minded citizens, and help keep them safe – these are all goals of police officers working in schools throughout Cedar Rapids. 
Cedar Rapids Police PALs Glenn Kieler and Shannon Sampson, along with Sergeant Laura Faircloth, welcomed children and adults to school at the roundabout in front of College Community Schools just before the winter holiday break. The Police PAL (Protect, Assist and Listen) program involves officers visiting each elementary classroom at least once a year with age-specific safety protocols on topics such as stranger danger, bullying, gun safety and Internet safety. Police officers have been working with elementary students in schools for more than 30 years, helping to build positive relationships.
Officer Tyler Smith was officially sworn in as a police officer for the City of Cedar Rapids on December 17th at a ceremony at the Police Station. Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart administered the Oath of Office and Officer Smith began patrol duties that evening. Officer Smith joined 213 other sworn officers serving the community. Officer Smith graduated from the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy 282nd Basic Academy on December 14th. Officer Smith had his police badge pinned to his uniform by his grandfather and former Iowa DCI Agent and Cedar Rapids Public Safety Commissioner J.D. Smith.
“Paws for a Cause” was held at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control on December 8th. With holiday specials on adoption fees, the shelter had 30 cats and 9 dogs adopted over the course of the 4-hour event. The event featured live music, refreshments, a photo booth, face painting, and Santa Claus.  Pet adoptions were reduced to a mere $5 for any spayed or neutered dog or cat. Adoption fees included pet spay or neuter, initial vaccinations, flea/tick treatment, deworming, and a microchip ID. You can view a list of the many wonderful pets available for adoption by visiting our PetFinder website . Shelter hours are Monday-Saturday, Noon to 5:00 p.m. Animal Care and Control is located at 900 76th Avenue Drive SW.
The Police Department, with the assistance of the Linn County Attorney's Office, made an arrest in a 39-year old cold case involving the murder of Michelle Martinko. Martinko was 18 years old when she was stabbed to death in the parking lot of Westdale Mall on December 19, 1979. 39 years later - on December 19, 2018, an arrest of a suspect, 64-year old Jerry Burns, was announced at a news conference at the Police Station. Clothing worn by Martinko was analyzed by the DCI Crime Laboratory and blood was found that did not belong to Martinko. A partial male DNA profile was developed from this blood stain and fewer than one in one hundred billion unrelated individuals would have this same profile. 
The Cedar Rapids Police Department hosted "Crafts with a Cop" on December 27, 2018. Children between the ages of 5 and 14 years old stopped by the Police Station and made crafts with police officers. This program is designed to encourage conversation and build trust between children and law enforcement officers. Another program that works to strengthen relationships is "Santa Cop" which was held at Target North on December 5th. Officers, through the Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity, provided 102 children with winter clothing and toys. Funds for this program are provided by officers and community members who donated to the Cedar Rapids Police Protective Charity .

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reports that a home is burglarized every 15 seconds in the United States resulting in an average valued loss of $2,188. 

There were 905 burglaries reported in Cedar Rapids in 2018.
Vacation Safety Tips
  • Resist the urge to post your plans on social media
  • Lock all doors and windows
  • Disconnect electrical extensions that do not need to be in use
  • Lock up valuable items
  • Record serial numbers of your devices and valuables
  • Have pictures of valuables
  • Leave lights on at home or have them on a timer
  • Do not leave money, checks, identification, or credit cards if you are staying in a hotel room
  • Have a friend check on your home while away and pick up the mail. You can also have the Post Office hold your mail while on vacation.
  • If something is missing when you return, alert the police immediately.
  • Remember to take your kids with you on vacation or leave them with a trusted relative or friend.
Upcoming Events
PAWS for Love is a gala event featuring a silent auction, live music by the George Jazz Group, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and good company. It is hosted by the Friends Helping Friends Foundation of Cedar Rapids, a nonprofit support group dedicated to improving the quality of life for both the citizens of our community and the four-legged companions at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control. With more than 100 incredible auction items to bid on - both silent and live! - you're sure to find something you just can't resist! Items include personal and pet pampering services and gift baskets, sports, auto, games, art, entertainment, jewelry, and awesome get-away packages. The event is held at Eastbank Venue, 97 3rd Avenue SW, on Saturday, February 16, 2019 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Purchase tickets today!
The Cedar Rapids RoughRiders Annual “Guns N Hoses” Night will be held on Saturday, February 2nd. The Police Department and Fire Department will have representatives participating in an on-ice challenge for the coveted "Brass Nozzle Trophy." This annual battle between area police officers and firefighters helps raise money for each department's Honor Guard. There will be T-shirts, sweatshirts, and silent auction items available for purchase. The actual jerseys worn by the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders players will be available through an auction. Each player is wearing a specially designed jersey that pays tribute to the men and women of public safety in Cedar Rapids. The Police Department uses the funds to send officers to National Police Week each year to honor those officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty.  Additional details will be posted on the Police Department Facebook page and on the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders website .
Cedar Rapids Police Department Community Outreach Division | 319-286-5425 | Email | Website