WSPD takes the stage during Part Two of Black & Blue Town Hall

WSPD takes the stage during Part Two of Black & Blue Town Hall
August 25
07:40 2016



There were few empty seats inside The Enterprise Center last Thursday evening, during Part Two of the Winston-Salem Urban League’s Black & Blue Town Halls. Community leaders, community activists and other concerned residents filed into the event hall, with ears eager to hear members of the Winston-Salem Police Department (WSPD) discuss how they are trying to improve community relationships.

During the event, Chief Barry Rountree and Assistant Chief Katrina Thompson took questions from residents, while detailing various ways they are working with community organizations and members to improve relations. Rountree mentioned officers have received additional training on how to deal with civilians. He also mentioned every officer is required to interact with a certain number of residents each day.

“We require our officers to get out and talk to people,” he said. ”We want the people in the city to know that we are here to protect and serve and we can’t do that without them.”

When asked about the over-policing of certain neighborhoods in the city, Rountree said, “Although it may seem we are in certain places more than others, the WSPD has the same number of officers patrolling every neighborhood.”

He also discussed the Winston-Salem Police Foundation. He said his goal is to have a sports league that would give young people a chance to engage with police.

Thompson discussed the training officers received in Mexico, designed to improve the relationship with the Hispanic population in the area.

Following the event, longtime community activist Al Jabbar said although he was glad to see the WSPD engage in open dialogue with the community, more needs to be done.

“These talks are good, but talking isn’t enough,” he continued. “We’ve talked enough. Now it’s time we see some action.”

Part Three of the Black & Blue Town Halls will be held in the fall.

For more information contact the Winston-Salem Urban League at 336-245-2710.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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