Law enforcement community forum to be held

DPD Tony GrayIn an effort to bridge the gap between the community and local law enforcement, Danville Police Chief Tony Gray says another forum will be held Thursday to open up dialog with residents and agencies.

It’s also a way the public can help the always-overstretched agencies, and take responsibility to keep their communities safe. As Sheriff Derek Robbins puts it: “In order for us to be successful as a law enforcement agency, we have to be in the public. The public, they may have ideas, we can give them things to watch for … they can be our eyes and ears. We can’t be everywhere at once.”

The idea was brought about due to an ongoing conversation with the Boyle County Safe Communities Task Force. A similar gathering was held last year, and Gray says, “People wanted to continue that dialog.”

Attendees will hear about each agency and what each is doing before moving into a question-and-answer session. The moderator for the event will be Burt Piper, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Ephraim McDowell Health and chairman of the Boyle County Safe Communities Task Force.

Photo submitted Chief Deputy Derek Robbins of the Boyle County Sheriff's Office

Photo submitted
Chief Deputy Derek Robbins of the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office

Piper said the task force “is a process of advocacy, planning, and implementation to make communities safer places by the development of a broad coalition of community groups including, health, government, transportation, law enforcement, business and industry, education, civic groups and institutions. It works through engaging local partners who care about safety, using data to identify leading causes of injury, making a plan to address the issues using proven methods and measuring success.”

The task force, he said, thought it would be a good idea to engage the community with the local police departments.

Both Gray and Robbins said it is important for the conversation to flow between community members and law enforcement.

“I think it’s important that people feel comfortable with law enforcement in community,” Gray said. “People will have the opportunity to come and discuss it with us.”

The forum will also give the public a chance to understand why officers do what they do in certain situations, he said, and to ask questions they may have always had on their minds about law enforcement.

Gray said authorities will share the statistics on local crime, talk about the staffing, and other things happening within the departments and how to better serve the community.

“It’s good; it’s important for us to hear issues the public has,” Robbins said.

SO YOU KNOW

Boyle County Safe Communities Task Force will hold a community forum 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at Inter-County Energy, 1009 Hustonville Road. Anyone interested in keeping their community safe or finding out more about local law enforcement statistics and tasks are encouraged to attend.