Front Porch Roll Call Aims to Bridge Gap With Police, Citizens

Columbia Police look to bridge the gap between the community and officers.

Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Every shift change for the Columbia Police Department ends and begins in a roll call.

A roll call means officers come together to read over police reports and talk about the crime trends taking place in their patrol areas.

Normally, this is done at the station, but now officers are taking their roll calls to the streets.
 
"We're building that bridge between us and the community,” says Lt. C.B. Williams.

Lt. Willams says the Front Porch Roll Calls allow them to meet the people they have sworn to protect.
 
"They're just loving it,” says Lt. Williams. “They were in with us and talking. We're really showing them that we're here for you."

At Wednesday night’s roll call, residents in the Elmwood Park neighborhood met with officers.

Katie beck says it's a time to understand what crime may or may not be taking place near her home.
 
"I think anywhere downtown; petty theft is a concern,” says Beck. “You're wanting to keep your car doors locked. We’ve had police officers speak at our meetings too and that’s one of the main things they say; keep your car doors locked. I do see their cars around and it is comforting."
  
"Since we had a roll call at my house a month ago, they ride by and wave and say 'Hi, how are you doing? Nice to see you,'” Says Marty White. “So it really is a great way of engaging"

The goal of these events is for officers to build trust with their communities.
  
"We can't do our jobs without them,” says Lt. Williams. “They're our eyes and ears."

If you are interested in hosting a Front Porch Roll Call in your neighborhood, you can sign up here.

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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