COMMUNITY POLICING WEEK KICKS OFF TODAY

Police Week

<p>Story by WVUA 23’s Lacey Beasley</p><p>Monday marks the beginning of Community Policing Week. The community can meet members of law enforcement in comfortable environments around Tuscaloosa, including coffee shops and cookouts.</p><p>All week long, citizens are encouraged to ask questions, voice concerns, or give suggestions on how law enforcement can work to better the community.</p><p>“It’s important for people to know that we’re not just there after the fact trying to prosecute people, but also have a real interest in the community,” said Hays Webb, Tuscaloosa District Attorney. “And hearing from them, what they’re experiencing in the neighborhood and a desire to try to kind of find what’re the issues they’re experiencing so that we could try and nip some of this stuff in the bud.”</p><p>Monday’s event was “Breakfast and Conversation” with public leaders and law enforcement. The speakers focused on how to end gun violence in Tuscaloosa.</p><p>“Public safety is an all hands on deck issue, and government alone cannot make our streets as safe as we would like them, so we 100% need the support and buy in of community in order to have the safe communities that we want,” said Brandon F. Johnson, the director of Birmingham’s Office of Peace and Policy.</p><p>Most importantly, this week is all about the community speaking out about what they think matters and improvements they want to see. Law enforcement wants to know about issues beforehand in order to help combat them.</p><p>“We would vastly prefer to deal with things on the front-end and help people in the beginning instead of getting involved only after the fact,” said Webb.</p><p>The week continues Wednesday with a “Police and Kids Day Reading Initiative.” Police officers will go to select Tuscaloosa City and County schools and read with elementary school kids. They want to express it’s okay for kids to be friends with police.</p><p>On Saturday, there is a community cook-out at McDonald Hughes Center from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. This event is welcome to the public.</p>

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