BURLINGTON, N.C. — The Burlington Police department is hosting sessions with community members to help develop their new strategic plan.
The department makes a new plan every three years. Each time they work to listen to the community's needs to improve current plans.
At Wednesday night's meeting, Chief Brian Long explained the 2018 plan the department had developed.
Some of the topics on that plan included creating interactive relationships with the community, engaging with youth and focusing on employee training and development.
Long says the department wants to keep doing some of these things and are using these meetings to see what's worked and what hasn't.
"Often times we think as practitioners that we know and we're gathering information from other resources certainly but this is about hearing from the community and making sure they have a voice," Long said.
The groups at the meeting focused on mental health, substance abuse, violent and youth crime. Each table discussed how to reduce these problems in Burlington. Ramona Allen, who's lived in the city, her whole life says she wants to help be a part of that change.
"Well I've always been a part of the community and I believe that we have to become a voice we can't complain about things if we really don't know what's going on and we only get opinionated so I feel like getting involved you become more hands-on and you can help the community involved and bring it to greater heights," Allen said.
She says she's grateful the department is holding these session-and she's enjoyed bouncing her ideas off of others.
"It's good to know what other people are dealing with in their area so it won't make us so judge mental and it won't make us feel so helpless because someone has a 'me too' story," Allen said.
Chief Long says he hopes to finalize a plan by the end of the year. The next meetings are from 6-8pm at these locations:
- Aug. 8th at 1535 S. Mebane St.
- Aug. 15th at 1230 St. Marks Church Rd.
- Aug 17th at 849 Sharpe Rd.