Daytoa Beach, FL - A community policing program that Daytona Beach Police Chief Jakari Young talked about in December 2020 is now underway. The "Park, Walk, and Talk" (PWT) program is meant to get police officers in touch with the community. In an interview on December 3, 2020, 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."
Trial runs of PWT have been taking place in the Midtown area since Young took over for retiring Chief, Craig Capri, last November. Young and several officers participated and based off those initial results,Young believes it’s time to expand into every one of DBPD’s 16 patrol zones right away. "“It’s all about community engagement,” Young said. “Just being out here so that the residents know who we are and we know who they are.”
Midtown was selected as the first location for PWT based off a series of
shootings in that area last November which left four people dead. Since that time, investigators have developed suspects in three of the four murders. Two of those suspects , Arrington Turner and Jermaine Jackson, are in the Volusia County Jail being held without bond. The third, James Williams, Jr., has been missing sincce he shot and killed his cousin on November 23, 2020.
Young said that he feels PWT "will show the “human” side of police work" and create an environment in which officers can focus on the concerns of residents and business owners, even if it’s not police related. “The ultimate goal is for them to understand that we’re a part of the community,” Young stated. “They don’t just need to see us when something happens. They need to see us when there’s absolutely nothing going on.”
Officers will be required to log every PWT shift with dispatch and have it
cleared by their supervisors. Shifts will be staggered to ensure that DBPD has enough available officers to respond to emergencies as needed. Officers will then talk with their supervisors about what happened. This will help them get ahead of neighborhood problems as they come up
DBPD created a video to show how PWT will work.
Young said the PWT program is not expected to cause a financial strain on the DBPD but he "does hope to hire additional officers so that PWT can be
done more consistently without causing a strain on patrol coverage."