Over the weekend, two sisters serving on the Cedar Rapids Police Department made history.

Saturday, February 5 was the first solo patrol shift for Salena Watkins (bottom left) as an officer with the Cedar Rapids Police Department. Salena's sister, A'alyiah (bottom right), who started working for the department in 2019, was on-duty at the same time. It was a historic day. For the first time in history, two sisters served on solo patrols as officers with the Cedar Rapids Police Department. They are the second sisters to serve as officers with the CRPD, but the first to both do solo patrols.

Cedar Rapids Police Department
Cedar Rapids Police Department

Salena and A'alyiah were born on Chicago's south side before moving to Cedar Rapids' Wellington Heights neighborhood, where they grew up. According to KCRG, A'alyiah left home at 15 to "stay out of trouble". A School Resource Officer helped get Salena's life pointed in the right direction. Now, the two hope to do the same for others. Salena told KCRG,

Unfortunately, a lot of the people that have been victims or suspects were people that we grew up with. We grew up in the same neighborhood, or I went to school with them. I don’t just want them to see this as a badge. I want them to be able to talk with me and trust the police.

Congratulations, A'alyiah and Salena, and thank you for your service to the City of Cedar Rapids and its residents.

*The first sisters to be officers with the Cedar Rapids Police Department were Shannon-Stokesberry Sampson and Bevin Stokesberry. Shannon started working with the department in 1998 and served the city for 22 years. Bevin, who began in 1999, was an officer for a short time before leaving to pursue a full-time military career. As a result, she was never on solo patrol.

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