The Dangers of Serving Warrants

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DES MOINES, Iowa — Whether an officer is on a patrol or tactical team, warrant service is regarded as one of the riskiest duties police do. 

In Des Moines, warrants are issued almost every day and are carried out by multiple units within the department. Most of these are completed without any complications. It is rare that a warrant turns into a hostile situation.

“You don’t know what’s on the other side of that door, but you’re going to go in there anyway,” said Des Moines Police Sgt. Paul Parizek.

Warrants are most often served late at night or early in the morning to ensure the element of surprise.

“Warrant service is something where you usually have a person that you’re looking for and you are pretty aware of the fact that they aren’t going to want to go to jail. So the element of surprise is in our favor. It helps keep us safe,” said Parizek.

At the police academy, officers are required to go through training on safe, swift and effective tactics for criminal capture. These are all skills needed to carry out a successful warrant.

“It’s a very intense training that we go through. It’s one of those things where you ‘what if?’ things to death,” said Parizek. “You take every ‘what if’ scenario you can possibly come up with and try to come up with a response.”

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