Ferguson Police Present Initiative Seeks to Restore Trust

9 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ferguson police initiative would have officers talk to residents more; effort to restore trust.

FERGUSON, Mo. FERGUSON • Worried about increased gunfire in their neighborhood, longtime residents Rod and Sharon Winterberg showed up at Greater Grace Church on Saturday morning, hoping to get some answers at the inaugural presentation of a neighborhood policing plan. — Police in Ferguson are vowing to walk the streets and talk to residents more often as part of an effort to repair frayed relations with the community more than a year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

Saturday’s meeting was the first in a series that the Ferguson Police Department hopes will help it repair a frayed relationship with many residents. Louis suburb thrust into worldwide headlines last year with the police shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown is inviting the public to weigh in on its neighborhood policing efforts. Officers under the neighborhood policing program would be assigned to a specific area of the community to help foster relationships with the area’s residents and businesses. Louis suburb works to rebuild trust after Brown, who was black, was shot to death by white Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in August 2014 during a confrontation in the street. He called it: park, walk and talk. “We came because there is so much gunfire in the area behind the Griffith Elementary School where we live,” he said.

The Justice Department later cleared Wilson, concluding evidence backed his claim that he shot the 18-year-old in self-defense after Brown first tried to grab the officer’s gun during a struggle through the window of Wilson’s police vehicle, then came toward him threateningly after briefly running away. Training is going to help develop better relationships with officers.” The goal of Saturday’s meeting was to jumpstart community involvement in the new policing initiative. Volunteers drawn from the event will form a steering committee that will hold five monthly meetings — starting in January — to draft a plan on how to implement the community policing plan.

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