If you missed our Community Conversation last night, it was an empowering community dialogue about how to make our city safer. We heard community stakeholders talk about their personal experiences and their passion for a safer, more cohesive community. Out of respect for everyone’s time, there were a few questions from attendees we didn’t get to.
Question: What are you doing to build a better relationship with the community and to keep those relationships in good standing? If you are regular visitors to our social media pages, you know the easier question would be what AREN’T we doing? DBPD officers are immersed in the community. They are coaching and supporting youth sports, working with teachers in classrooms in all grades, presenting Safety Patrol awards, organizing an annual baseball camp and the Explorer program, not to mention creating and running the pride of the department, the Criminal Justice Academy at Atlantic Community High. We take part in multiple community events each week, from church gatherings and festivals to school field days and neighborhood parties and Public Safety Open Houses with DBFR. The department hosts and organizes National Night Out each year, and we give away hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies, turkey dinners at Thanksgiving and organize a colossal toy giveaway with Delray Citizens for Delray Police that provides toys to hundreds of needy families during the holidays. We could go on, but you get the idea…
What is your strategy to put more police officers of color on the force? Our goal to have a diverse organization is reflected in our statistics. Currently, 32 percent of our officers are minorities, and we will continue to recruit and hire the most qualified candidates.
When you talk about “See Something, Say Something,” what information should trigger a report from a citizen? Because we cannot be all places, all times, officers rely on Delray Beach residents to be our eyes and ears on the street. You should contact the police any time that you feel unsafe, if you see something or someone suspicious, or when you know or suspect that someone is about to commit a criminal act. Even if you are not the only witness to a crime, or are unsure of what you saw, please let us know. Remember, we are dependent on you and your cooperation in the fight against crime.
Keep you eye on our social media pages for our next community event. Stay safe, Delray Beach!