The Cedar Rapids Police Department Narcotics Unit is assigned as part of the Investigative Division. The Unit investigates all referrals on possible narcotics activity within the City. These referrals are received via the Crime Stoppers Hotline (1-800-CRCRIME), as well as letters and phone calls to the Unit itself. Since 1997, the Unit has served well over 700 narcotics related search warrants.
COORDINATION WITH OTHER LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES
To accomplish this task more effectively, the Narcotic and Vice Unit works closely with other local law enforcement agencies at all levels. Some of these agencies are the local Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
CITIZEN INVESTIGATIVE INVOLVEMENT
The Narcotics and Vice unit uses a myriad of investigative methods to arrest and prosecute criminals. The well-known practice of using undercover police officers is only one. However, our most important partnership involves members of the community taking a stand against illegal drug use and sales.
Our most important weapon in this fight is a concerned citizen reporting suspicious activities for investigation. Information provided in this manner is invaluable and has led to numerous search warrants, arrests, and prosecutions of major drug offenders. This information can be provided anonymously by contacting the Narcotics Unit and leaving a message or speaking with an officer.
Because of active citizen involvement, the Narcotics Unit has served numerous search warrants for illegal drug activity in Cedar Rapids. We also assist in having the offender(s) removed or evicted from the property through partnership with local landlords and property management organizations if evidence of illegal drugs is found.
CASH and PROPERTY SEIZURES
The Narcotics Unit investigates drug-related cash and property seizures with the intention of depriving drug dealers of illegally obtained assets. Thousands of dollars have been recovered and returned to the taxpayer each year from this practice.
OTHER ANTI-DRUG ACTIVITIES
The Narcotics Unit supports several other anti-drug activities as well. In cooperation with the Cedar Rapids Police Department and the Coralville Police Department, the Narcotics Unit assists the Crime Free Multi-Housing Program. Property Managers are taught how to avoid drug-dealing tenants, and how to identify and remove any problem tenants they may already have.
Another officer is assigned as the liaison officer for hotels and motels. Drug recognition classes are held for business staff, and a special pager number is provided that is answered 24 hours a day to assist in drug problems they may encounter with guests.
The Narcotics Unit also assists and provides training for other professional and special interest groups on a case by case basis.
COMMON DRUG ACTIVITY INDICATORS
Persons who engage in the following activities may or may not be involved with illegal drug use. If you notice these possible conditions, please contact the Narcotics Unit at the Cedar Rapids Police Department.
- Lots of short duration traffic, in and out, and not consistent with normal guest patterns.
- Suspicious persons hanging around outside the residence, acting as lookouts, or who constantly hail passing vehicles.
- Unusual odors or smoke. Chemical smells can indicate dangerous drug manufacturing methods; smoke can be an indication of marijuana or crack cocaine use.
- Firearms or weapons displayed near doors or other places where they can be accessed quickly.
- Large amounts of currency displayed or hand to hand exchanges between persons.