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Citizen's Police Academy: Week 1

Updated: Friday, March 21 2014, 12:38 AM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS 2/FOX 28) -- Everyone has a goal. Everyone has a dream.

For Dana Steckline, who drove all the way from Dubuque to the Cedar Rapids Police Department, it's to eventually wear the badge.

“I grew up kinda rough actually,” Steckline says. “My step dad is in prison, that's kinda what pushed me, I think. This is where I’d like to be employed as a police officer.”

For us here at FOX 28/CBS 2, it's to get a look behind the badge. So those 14 different goals, dreams, and motivations gathered at the Cedar Rapids Police Department for week number 1 of the Citizen’s Police Academy.

The program runs 10 weeks, and involves classroom and in-field training. It explores a wide range of topics, including criminal investigations, defensive driving, and firearms.

Week 1 starts with Chief Wayne Jerman's classroom welcome.

“Once you go through this academy, you will become our ambassadors and our advocates,” he says

The first class was about getting to know CRPD, so after some ice breakers, it was time for a tour of our new home for the next ten weeks.

As soon as we stepped out of the classroom and into the halls of the department, you soon realize you need a map. The department is huge. In fact, it’s the second largest in Iowa. It employs hundreds of officers, and dozens of other staff. Even at night, it’s very active - from officers gearing up for nighttime patrol, to the K-9s in their downtime.

Over the next ten weeks, we invite you, our viewers, to come along with us as we explore the world of law enforcement even more.

Photojournalist Scott Zimdar and reporter Jason Hackett will make their way through the academy.

Next week, the pace picks up as we head outdoors to take a look at the patrol division at CRPD.

You can join us here every Thursday night for the next 10 weeks. We look forward to sharing our experience – and newly acquired knowledge - with you.Citizen's Police Academy: Week 1

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