By Israel Ramirez |Staff Writer|
After surpassing Chicago as the deadliest city in the nation, San Bernardino is taking steps towards becoming the strong middle-class city it once was.
The police department has started many community meetings to interact with the residents regarding questions and concerns about the city.
“The city of San Bernardino should host more events, meetings, organizations for the community as well as, adding on to their police force since we’ve seen a rise in homicides as of late,” said student Guillermo Corona.
For some time, the police department has been hosting “Coffee with a Cop (CWAC),”.
Beginning back in 2011 in the city of Hawthorne, CA, CWAC has become extremely popular in the country.
Five years later the program has expanded to different cities in all 50 states, including San Bernardino, according to coffeewithacop.com.
Local neighborhoods meet monthly at various restaurants to sit down and converse with police officers.
These meetings consist of the officers and local residents coming up with solutions to better the community they live in.
CWAC is a “No agenda or speeches, just a chance to ask questions, voice concerns, and get to know the officers in your neighborhood,” according to Allsanbernardino.com
Along with “CWAC” and very similar to it, the city’s police department is also hosting “SBPD Business and community Organization meeting.”
Just as CWAC, the business and community meetings also consist of getting together with the city’s officers but instead focus on San Bernardino’s businesses.
In this community gathering the business owners get the chance to express their concerns on how homelessness, vandalism, lack of police response and other issues are affecting their businesses from attracting customers to their location according to Allsanbernardino.com
The events that the police department hosts are slowly taking effect with the help of the community, in return the department has been rewarded.
The San Bernardino police department has received a $2.8 million grant to hire 11 new officers according to The Sun.
After seeing San Bernardino rise to the to the ranks of deadliest city just last month, the hiring of these officers seeks to decrease the city’s crime.
The police department and the community are also working together to clean up the city’s public parks in an event called “Fight Blight.”
Citizens from all over San Bernardino are volunteering after seeing the park being poorly maintained in the last few years.
Just last month “Fight Blight” drew up to 120 volunteers to clean Perris Hill Park according to www.sbcity.org.
On Oct. 29, the city will once again host a day to clean Seccombe Lake Park, to slowly restore it to the park that San Bernardino’s citizens once knew.
“I remember being a kid and going to the park on Sunday mornings to watch my father play baseball. After the game the team would gather and barbecue while all the kids ran around and played together,” said Andres Morales.
In an effort to raise awareness about “CWAC” and other police community events the department maintains a Facebook page, which announces all of their activities and programs.