Updated:SANFORD, Fla. —
Sanford's top cop is shaking hands and meeting with residents. New Police Chief Cecil Smith held his first walk-and-talk event since he took over a month ago.
Despite the rainy weather, Smith and his officers hit the streets. They knocked on doors, handed out flyers, and talked with residents about questions and concerns.
"Crime doesn't take a day off. For us to get out in the community and talk to the community, getting the officers back involved, and being engaged with some of the things happening in the community (is important).
Smith admits that because of issues the department has had in the past, the department doesn't have the amount of community support he would like to see. He is hoping to change that.
"The idea is that they has been so much dissension within the community and we want to make sure what we're doing is getting their ear, and having their ear and them having our ear about things going on in the community," said Smith.
Shawntae Martin was one of the residents who got a visit from the chief. She was surprised when she opened the door and he was standing on her porch.
"I actually wanted to go see the chief," said Martin. "My house was burglarized, so were my other two neighbors and I don't feel things were correctly done. I'm glad he came by and he said he was going to address my problems."
Smith said this is the first time the department has done something like this. He said he plans to do more to reach out to the community.