North Liberty Shooting Reminds All Of Danger in Law Enforcement

By Chris Earl, Reporter

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By Chris Earl

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Just days after three police officers were shot in an incident in North Liberty, this serves as a reminder of the danger of working in law enforcement.

"There is no compromising officer safety," said Cedar Rapids Police Chief Wayne Jerman on Wednesday at police headquarters. "It's always paramount."

On Sunday evening, officers and deputies swarmed to 238 Holiday Lodge Road in North Liberty after a neighbor reported a disturbance.

Officers arrived and, soon after, exchanged gunfire with Taleb Salameh, 28. Salameh died at the scene and bullets hit three officers. The names of the officers have not been made public but Johnson County Sheriff Lonny Pulkrabek said the officers have been treated and released.

Cedar Rapids Police Sergeant Dan Jabens displayed the protective gear that he wears for any assignment while out on patrol. A vest underneath his black uniform, a Glock and a taser also make up the ensemble.

"Everything we wear, we wear every day on the street," said Jabens, a 16-year veteran of the department. "Not a single officer goes without this gear."

What is especially important is that an officer never knows when a traffic stop or a call to a home will turn violent.

The Cedar Rapids Police Department was touched by this in March 2009. Officer Tim Davis was severely beaten near 16th Street and "A" Avenue NE after responding to a robbery call in the middle of the night.

In April 2011, Sgt. Eric Stein, 39, of the Keokuk County Sheriff's Office, was shot and killed when responding to a domestic call in rural Sigourney.

Jerman said officers receive training, each year, during in-service days that are required by the state and the department also completes "periodic training" with the shifts and the platoons.

He also stressed that no call is the same.

"Certain calls require more than one officer," said Jerman. "It's essential that the proper number of officers respond to those types of calls."

Yet with the balance between arriving at a scene quickly and arriving at a scene fully prepared, Jerman points to proper procedure.

"We're trained to respond to certain calls in a certain manner. You're not going to be of any assistance to anyone if you don't arrive safely."

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