Waterloo police ask for more community engagement after 7 shootings in 8 days

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:09 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Waterloo Police Department plans on recruiting volunteers to become “community ambassadors”, who are equipped with police radios to alert authorities about situations with the potential to lead to gun violence or gang activity.

This effort to increase community engagement is part of the police department’s solution to handle an increase in gun violence after the department responded to seven shootings in eight days.

Three of those seven shootings happened on Memorial Day. In total 5 people were hurt and 2 people were killed.

Dr. Joel Fitzgerald, who is the police chief for the Waterloo Police Department, said people involved in the shootings have been arrested or on the police’s radar before the incident. He said he needs more help from the community to solve gun violence.

“What we need to do is challenge ourselves to do more, to say more, to be more within this community,” Fitzgerlad said.

The police chief was joined by a number of city and county officials including Mayor Quentin Hart, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson (D), the Iowa State Patrol and other federal law enforcement groups.

Most of the other speakers spoke about the importance of community engagement.

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