FRESNO, California (KSEE) – The Fresno Police Department is meeting in local neighborhood parking lots to open a line of conversation and inform the public of any concerns.
“What we call ‘Parking lots with the Police.’ This is a small scale event where we’re still trying to reach out to the community during COVID times,” said Sgt. Sammy Ashworth, Fresno Police Department.
This is the first of its kind event for the department and today’s kickoff was outside of Wesley United Methodist Church on Barstow in Fresno. The Sgt. says a lot of times the public sees them in negative situations, but hopes these gatherings will allow the public to see them in a different light.
“We try to have a lot of positive interactions to let you know the police are here to help with other things. The non-traditional things like do you have graffiti in your neighborhood that needs to be removed?”
Fresno Police Department will choose different areas of the city at random, one square mile at a time.
“Each one of those neighborhoods has its own challenge and that’s why we’re hoping to meet with the people one on one in these settings to find out what this particular neighborhood needs.”
One of the attendees was happy to have the chance to speak with city leaders.
“Having a parking lot event with the police is important because it bridges the gap and that’s what it’s about. It’s about coming together to take care of the community. And the police force especially accessible with the bike units, it’s so cool to see them on their new bikes,” said Myra Cubos, the Non-Profit Administrator for Wesley United Methodist Church.
The next event will be posted on Fresno Police Department’s social media accounts and the department is also offering a virtual way to participate every second Wednesday of the month.