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Four Cedar Rapids shootings in less than a month prompts a public report from interim police chief to City Council

Rick Smith, CR Gazette –

CEDAR RAPIDS — Four shootings here in less than a month, with people left injured and one dead, prompted City Manager Jeff Pomeranz last night to call on Interim Police Chief Tom Jonker to make a public report to the City Council.

Jonker told the council that the most recent shooting, on April 20 at an apartment next to Kirkwood Community College, resulted in an arrest on Monday night. He said an arrest in another shooting was likely and in another it was not and he said work on the homicide on April 16 at a Cedar Rapids strip club was continuing.

None of the shootings was random. In each incident, the shooter had some kind of relationship with the victim or victims, he said.

At the same time, Jonker said the city is experiencing “an uptick” in verified shooting reports. In 2010, the city had three and in 2011, 11. This year to date, there have been 18, the interim chief said.

He said the Police Department was using preventive patrols and “intense patrols” in response to the violence.

” … (H) ave confidence is us that we’re getting the job done,” Jonker told the council.

Pomeranz said Jonker himself is “very familiar with the streets and with responding to violence as well as leading officers.”

The city manager is giving each of the Police Department’s three captains a three-month stint as interim chief as he and the City Council decide on a new permanent chief to replace Greg Graham, who left in January for another chief’s job.

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