Daytona Beach, FL - Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young announced a community policing program, "Park, Walk, and Talk" during a community meeting prompted by several shootings over the previous two weeks. He says it's a simple community policing philosophy that calls for officers to get out of the car and make contacts in the community. "It's basically they will take 30 minutes out of their 12-hour shift in their zone. Park the car, get out, walk, and talk to whoever they come in contact with."
Young said he believes a partnership between the police and the community is essential to bridging the gap. "It goes back to Sir Robert Peele who is the founder of modern-day policing who said that 'Police are the community and the community are the police. Without cooperation from our community, we would be highly ineffective."
The Park, Walk, and Talk program could start in January. Young said it all comes down to staffing because, right now, there are 16 vacancies on the force. The good news is that a new class with 12 police officers started this past Monday. "If all 12 make it, we'll be down to four vacancies so we'll be in pretty good shape."
Young says it comes down to basic communication skills. "Find out who is in their zone. Know a little bit about them. If we're consistent in our efforts then when things happen, they will be less reluctant to come forward and speak to us and give us information."