Connecting New Officers to Their Community - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Connecting New Officers to Their Community

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

SALISBURY, Md.- A new program that is now part of the field training for Salisbury police officers is designed to get the officers into the community and develop relationships with the people they serve.

Monday was the start of the second of three weeks for a group of four new Salisbury police officers in the Community Immersion Program.

"Being able to get out there and meet and greet with the people first hand, it helps you tremendously as an officer to be able to know the are before you get exposed to it," said Officer William Mills.

The idea is to get the officers out into neighborhoods, on foot, and meet with the locals, chat with business owners and listen to the concerns in the community there.  The inaugural run through of the program has targeted four neighborhoods in Salisbury: Princeton Homes, Doverdale, the Church Street area, and the Smith Street area.  Each was chosen in hopes of increasing the quality of life in that neighborhood.  Tyler Morlong was greeted by some officers on Monday and said it was reassuring to meet the officers on a personal level.

"It's refreshing because usually you don't know the people that are trying to help protect you and keep your neighborhood safe so it is nice to put a face to the name," said Morlong.

The officers hope by the end of the program to have gained the trust of the communities they visited.

"When a crime goes down in a neighborhood, you want those certain people that you can go and talk to and figure out what is going on.  And I figure, if we can get out here now, these people will want to talk to us because they can confide information in us," said Officer Isiah Barkley.

As new officers are hired and trained, more areas of Salisbury will be selected for the officers to get out into and meet with the people they serve.

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