As COVID-19 restrictions ease, officials step up community policing efforts

Updated: Apr. 15, 2021 at 11:03 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Lately, there’s been national attention put on police officers. Some of their actions caught on camera have lead to nightly protests. We’re certainly not immune to that here in Charlotte. But now that COVID restrictions are easing, many departments are increasing their community policing efforts.

“It takes a special kind of a person to do the job.”

Community policing isn’t about writing traffic tickets; sometimes it’s about trying to figure out how many officers it takes to install a child’s seat in the back of your car during a safety seat inspection.

Or maybe sharing a cup of joe at the local gas station with someone who just so happens to stop by.

After a hiatus because of the pandemic, Mooresville police stepped back up it’s community policing efforts trying to get a temperature of the room, a feel for where people are at in the community. Thursday’s effort was coffee with a cop at the local BP station. Learning from each other and finding ways to better interact between the department and those they serve.

“Statistically speaking, there needs to be more accountability in police agencies all around the world,” said Maisha Walker, who has lived in Mooresville for 30 years.

And the effort was about trying to get ahead of that.

“People have questions for them because of what’s in the news, what’s in the media. What’s happened here in Mooresville in recent years,” said Town Commissioner Bobby Compton.

A lot changed with the relationship between residents and the officers on one horrible night in 2019.

On May 4, Officer Jordan Sheldon was shot and killed during a routine traffic stop off River Highway. His death shook the town to its core.

“And I never thought anything like that would ever happen in Mooresville,” said longtime resident Lynn Miller.

Since then, efforts have been stepped up on both sides to come together and figure out what policing is being done well, and what can be done better.

“You have to serve the community that you lead. And if you want us to interact with people in a positive way, then the police should by interacting with others in a positive way,” Walker said.

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