DALLAS – Across the City of Dallas, foot patrol operations are becoming a big priority with Dallas Police Department.
“How’s business been going?”
Officer Karlon Bedford asked a business owner a series of questions as he stopped in a shop at Southwest Center Mall Friday.
“It’s kind of slow, but it’s picking up,” the shop owner replied.
Officer Bedford is among a large group of officers hitting the streets and having one-on-one conversations with citizens. Officers from Dallas Police Department’s Southwest and South Central patrol divisions hit the halls of Southwest Center Mall on Friday afternoon.
Sgt. Geraldine White was among the foot patrol team.
White said, ”Most of the time they see us riding by in squad cars. Right now we actually have an opportunity to walk and talk and engage with our citizens.”
Foot patrol, community engagement, and neighborhood policing are initiatives the officers say Chief David Brown strongly supports. Knowing Brown is planning to retire in October, workers and clients at Michael Evans’ salon say they would like to see even more community engagement down the line.
"As Long as they come and talk to us, and make us feel safe out there. That’s the main thing,” Evans explained.
Officers say becoming familiar with neighbors, young and old, has been a huge plus. Community members say the experience and relationships are about breaking down barriers and building trust.
Lisa Long, general manager of Southwest Center Mall, says the foot patrols are making a significant difference.
"It’s bridging that gap, and educating that the police are good and they are there to help and they are there to be your friend," Long said.
Copyright 2016 WFAA