DANVILLE, Va. – In a push for community policing, the Danville Police Department says they are working to protect and not oppress.
Lt. Erica Land is lending an ear to hear what’s going on in Danville.
On Wednesday, the police department hosted a “Real Talk” event outside the Food Lion on Westover Drive. It was a chance for the community to express concerns in their neighborhood, city and the world and really talk about what’s going on — whether it’s crime, safety, speeding or downed trees.
“We have to invest in our community so they invest in us. If we have stronger ties with the community it may reduce crime and improve the overall status of life, the quality of life” said Land.
Meanwhile, Jered Tubb, born and raised in Danville, was grateful for the opportunity.
“I thought it was cool. It’s always nice to see what the community needs. It shows that they care,” said Tubb.
Antina Dillard, another Danville resident who’s a mom and registered nurse, was happily surprised to see police.
“Sometimes when we see law enforcement officers we immediately think, ‘Oh what’s wrong, but for them to just establish a rapport with the community, I think it’s a good thing,” said Dillard.
Engaging the community is something the department’s been striving for. They’ve been hosting car shows, community days and walks in neighborhoods impacted by violence.
Jermaine Parker, the department’s community engagement specialist, says “Real Talk” is just the latest initiative in their new model of “neighborhood-oriented policing.”
“We’re trying to unify. Come and talk to us. We’re trying to resolve issues to protect and serve,” said Parker.
At a time when putting on a badge and uniform isn’t always easy, these officers want to be the change they want to see.
“You can only make it better if you put an effort into it. You can’t make it better by not making changes,” said Tubb.
The Danville Police Department is holding more “Real Talk” events all over the city every single week. If you want to learn more about their other community events, just check out their Facebook page here.