The Cedar Rapids Police Department has six K9 teams, including five narcotics dogs and a bomb/explosives dog. All the teams are assigned to the Patrol Division and are supervised by Patrol Sergeant Chris Bieber. They are available seven days a week, providing around the clock service to the community as a K9 team is assigned to every shift. There are two Dutch Shepherds and four Belgian Malinois on the Department. When not on-duty, the dogs live with their handlers as family pets. Each dog costs between $8,500 and $10,000 to acquire. The Police Department’s most recently certified dogs were acquired through donations received at various fund-raisers.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department used dogs as far back as the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. In 1975, the Cedar Rapids Police Department introduced three dogs, including two German shepherds and Brittany spaniel, to the law enforcement ranks with a mission to sniff out illegal drugs. The dogs were sponsored by the Downtown Kiwanis Club and were proficient in finding marijuana, amphetamines, and heroin. The department routinely used the canines in school as well as airline, bus and freight terminals to discourage bringing drugs onto school or other properties. The dogs served a strong deterrent factor as well as aiding in the actual confiscation of drugs and assisting with arrests. The 1970’s program consisted of three officers, including Officer Wayne Slezak, Officer Mike Moses and Officer Merle Spicer. The program lasted until 1978 when the dogs became a part of the Metro Narcotics Unit. The first dogs were named Brimstone, Sniffer and Captain Midnight.
The following is a list of the K9’s and their tenure with the Cedar Rapids Police Department:
|Brimstone, 1975-1978||Marco, 2008-2014|
|Sniffer, 1975-1978||Lucky, 2008-2014|
|Captain Midnight, 1975-1978||Yoeri, 2008-2015|
|Ringo, 1998-2003||Jenks, 2009-2015|
|Djarko, 1998-2005||Narco, 2009-Present|
|Kilo, 2000-2003||Nero, 2010-Present|
|Wendy, 2000-2008||Cooper, 2011-Present|
|Danny, 2000-2008||Havoc, 2014-2015|
|Dresco, 2000-2010||Ryker, 2014-Present|
|Bowie, 2004-2009||Ace, 2015-Present|
|Charger, 2004-2011||Bane, 2015- Present|
|Rambo, 2008-2009||Odin, 2016-Present|
Harding Middle School has donated over $14,000 to the K9 Unit over the past several years. The faculty and students host an annual Kids vs. Cops Dodgeball Tournament in late January, which raises about $2,000 each year.
Pets Playhouse is another community supporter. In May 2015, a benefit for the Cedar Rapids K9 program raised $11,000. The money raised helps offset veterinary, food and health costs.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department's K9 Unit is grateful for the support it receives from the members of its community.
If you would like to send a donation to help support this group of four-legged officers, please send it in the form of a check made out to the "Cedar Rapids Police K9 Unit" to the address shown below.
Cedar Rapids Police Department
Attention: Sgt. Chris Bieber
505 1st Street SW
Cedar Rapids, IA 52404