BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. (FOX 9) - In Brooklyn Park, it's all about building trust this weekend. The city's police chief says the department is changing its approach to fighting crime by connecting with neighbors in a new way.
The police chief said the goal of this event is to help officers build a deeper connection with the people they serve. In turn, officers hope they can make residents feel they can safely call and work with police when they need help.
At Saturday's event, police took questions from members of the public during a Q&A session.
"A lot of it focused on what police officers have, what to do if you’re stopped by the police," explained Chief Craig Enevoldsen. "Racially, do the police stop one more than another?"
"This needs to happen because people need to have their voices heard," said community activist Darryl Ford.
Ford’s lived in Brooklyn Park for 15 years. It’s a diverse community that officials say is made up of 52 percent people of color. "Having this is something that can bring your community together," Ford said.
It’s an area of Brooklyn Park, around Brookdale and Yates, where police say they’ve gotten 144 calls for help since New Year’s. And now this connection building tactic for officers to break the so-called "code of silence" in neighborhoods when it comes to reporting and talking about crimes.
"The big thing we’ve heard is we are fearful of retaliation if they call the police, so we had a conversation on how to work through those scenarios," the chief said.
"Trust to call 911, police show up and take care of the problem, and they can still live in their neighborhood."
For more information on the police department, you can click here.