GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The Greenville Police Department is implementing a new program that creates a partnership between community members and police. It’s called the Civic Liaison Program.
The goal is to have an officer represent special interest groups, to ensure safety for people from all walks of life.
“There’s a sense of insecurity in that community that we want to foster trust with,” explained Sgt. Dale Mills, Community Outreach Supervisor, GPD.
A program, originally designed to bridge communication between homeowner associations and police, is expanding to special interests groups that need support given the current climate in our country.
“The Latino community, and our Jewish community, and our LGBT community, we saw where all three of those could use a better communication with the police department,” said Mills.
Those aren’t the only groups benefiting from this new program.
Officers aren’t assigned. Instead, they volunteer to foster strong connections between members of these groups and police.
“Why is it important to have this,” 9 On Your Side asked.
“So many things, we come into it well after the fact, and with some of the special interest groups are already deep into their investigations of how their member was affected before we even get brought in,” answered Deputy Chief Ted Sauls, NAACP Officer Liason, GPD. “And I want to be on the front edge of that.”
Pitt County NAACP President Calvin Henderson said this program is needed in our community.
He works closely with Deputy Chief Ted Sauls, who’s the officer liaison for the NAACP.
“It’s very important because now there is a big gap in law enforcement and community when it comes to trust in light of many incidents in the country that has happened,” said Henderson.
At the end of the day, that’s truly what community policing is all about. It’s having that one officer that you can communicate with.