SAN BERNARDINO ( — In a bankrupt city with 53 murders in 2016 and a terrorist attack last December, the San Bernardino Police Department was due for a change.

CBSLA’s Crystal Cruz went for a ride-along with Sgt. Gary Schuelke who is part of the newly combined Special Enforcement Team, merging gang and narcotics officers to share information.

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Within minutes, Cruz and Sgt. Schuelke were on scene questioning two people for a stolen car.

“I think bringing a team together like this and having that whole team focus on specific crime issues and specific quality of life issues within the district working together can be more effective than having them work independently,” San Bernardino Chief of Police Jarrod Burrguan said.

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The team recently arrested five people, seizing their meth, cash and weapons.

On Wednesday night’s ride, Sgt. Schuelke and other officers responded to a report of an explosive and found a military grade smoke grenade.

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The SBPD is hiring 35 new officers. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma and a clean background record.