Long Beach Police Hitting The Streets With New Community Policing Program

"This is my everyday area that I work in now, the High School area, the Middle School area," Long Beach Police Officer Dennis Dalton said.

These days, he spends most of his time hitting the streets in his patrol car. Officer Dalton is getting to know the neighborhoods and businesses under his watch thanks to the new Community Policing Program.

"A lot of this program is people get to know you," Dalton said. "It's not seeing a different police officer every time. You're seeing a lot of the same people, getting to know them."

That means Dalton often gets out of his car and reaches out to the people.

"The answer we're looking for is to eliminate the problem, and that takes the whole community effort," Long Beach Police Chief Mark Dunston said. "Drug issues, burglaries, loud music, things that we can possibly help you with is what we're here for."

Some citizens say they're already seeing a difference.

"It's not really bad over here, but it was," Long Beach resident Bobbie Mingo said. "But it's quiet now since they come around so much."

"I think it's a good idea, get a chance to know all the officers and the officers get to know the neighborhood," another resident, Marville Wiggins, said.

The police department is in the process of forming a citizens' committee, appointed by the mayor and city aldermen, to critique the police department. It's another way the department is trying to form a stronger bond with the community.

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