Coronavirus pandemic is changing how new officers interact with the community

Coronavirus pandemic is changing how new officers interact with community

ORLANDO, Fla. — In Orlando newly sworn members of the police department meet with community influencers to introduce themselves and get a feel for the concerns of the communities they patrol.

These meet-and-greets were usually done in person but because of the coronavirus pandemic Chief Orlando Rolon decided to make them virtual.

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“We would allow members of our community to come in, we would have tables set up for representatives from each of our six districts and would come here to talk to our brand-new officers,” said Rolon.

The chief says opportunities like these to talk with residents are critical, especially now, with the nationwide protests and demonstrations highlighting police brutality and social injustice.

Rolon says the program not only helps the officers, but allows communities to learn about the men and women who patrol their neighborhoods.

“It’s great for some of those stakeholders to hear from our officers, to hear where they are from, to hear some of their background,” the chief said.

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Posted by Orlando Police Department on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Rolon says these opportunities for conversation are critical to help both sides grow their understanding of one another and build the trust necessary for successful community policing.

The department hopes to build on the success of the program and eventually extend it from one day to an entire week.

You can learn more about Orlando community programs here.