Increased trust in Sanford leads to more cases closed, officials say

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SANFORD, Fla. —

Increased trust between residents in the Goldsboro neighborhood of Sanford and the police department is making a difference, residents said.

Police Chief Cecil Smith’s “walk and talks,”could be part of the reason an outpouring of 911 calls went out when historically there have only been a handful, officials say.

The sound of gunfire got people in a Sanford neighborhood to band together for help.

Amid the chaos of gunshots more than a dozen residents at Seminole Garden apartments called 911. Some passed along minute details about the getaway car.

"The tires may be shot out or flat," a caller said.

"It had, ah - turquoise - light paint with clear windows. It didn't have any tint on it and it had rims on it," another called said.

The descriptions helped Sanford officers track down two men who were then arrested for attempted murder.

The 911 calls and the arrests may signal a changing tide in this area of Sanford.

Police were once frustrated when little information came in after crimes.

In the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting, Smith has tried to mend fences with community members, especially those in the Goldsboro neighborhood.

Residents said they are taking notice.

"I do see a slight change with people being more adaptive to the police, you know, being more, I guess -- open," Sanford resident Larry Roberts said.

The department agrees.

"Six months ago we would've been lucky to get a handful of 911 calls. And in this instance, immediately after the shooting, we received an outpouring ... of 911 calls," Shannon Cordingly with the Sanford Police Department said.

It also led officers right to the abandoned getaway car: a green Acura with two flat tires, just like the callers described.

The man who was shot is expected to be OK.

The two men are in jail Monday.

Smith said he will continue his Thursday “walk and talks” for the foreseeable future.