Dubuque police undergo underwater investigation training
ZWINGLE, Iowa (AP) — Several Dubuque police officers found themselves in an unusual environment at the bottom of a quarry pond.
The police department’s nine-member dive team was undergoing its monthly training exercises, The Dubuque Telegraph Herald reported . Training is held monthly so divers can keep their skills sharp.
The team had four newer members recently receive their advanced open-water certifications. Training began with technique practice, where members practiced following commands given over a radio.
“We’re starting with basics, and then we’ll get into search patterns,” said Lt. Dave Haupert, a member of the team.
The department received a grant about three years ago to purchase dive equipment to begin building the specialty team, said Dubuque Police Chief Mark Dalsing.
“We had individuals that had dive skills,” Dalsing said. “But it was really limited, and we recognized we needed to increase our capacity.”
The city’s location on the Mississippi River means investigators must sometimes go underwater to salvage evidence.
“We know for a fact that evidence is thrown into the river,” Haupert said. “So if we are doing an investigation and somebody said, ‘I threw the gun in the river,’ we can go try to recover that evidence, which can be crucial to a case.”
The department plans to pursue additional training for tasks such as first aid and diving in icy water, Haupert said.
Dalsing said he’s looking into forming a multi-agency dive team with the Dubuque Fire and Dubuque County Sheriff’s departments.
Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com