CPD and Columbia Parks and Recreation come together to bring a community closer
COLUMBIA - The second Annual East Neighborhood BBQ happened at Aztec Park on Saturday.
Officers from the Community Outreach Unit of CPD and staff from Columbia Parks & Rec worked together to organize this event for the East Strategic Plan Neighborhood.
One of the officers in the Community Outreach Unit is Phillip Shull. He was there when the community outreach unit first started in this neighborhood.
When Schull first talked to people in this neighborhood, people told him that they want a more united community and to feel safer at community parks.
This event seeks to do just that. This year there was a barbeque, water games, and booths from various organizations within the community.
According to Mary Dewey, the Recreational Leader with Youth programs within Columbia Parks and Rec, these booths all have one thing in common.
“They bring information for the community to get help with,” Dewey said.
The booths ranged from Columbia Neighborhood Watch, Job Point, and Columbia Parks and Rec. All were there to provide resources for the community.
Along with Schull there were several other officers at the BBQ talking with the people who came.
Schull sees this as a major part in building a relationship between officers and citizens.
“People get to see the police as normal people and to see me as a husband, a father, and a person behind this blue uniform," Schull said.
As for the officers, being with the people they serve helps them, as well.
“I get to see who lives at what house and what's going on in their life. And this interaction is more than just name, date of birth, social security number and here's your police report,” Schull said.
Schull believes that getting to know the people he serves helps create a safer and more beneficial community for all.
Schull says that if they can successfully bring people of this community together, they can increase unity and make individuals feel better about themselves through opportunities and hopefully reduced crime rate.