By Taylor Powell, Correspondent
On the morning of June 27, the Belton Police Department held a community gathering at the local Wal-Mart. The officers came together to have breakfast with the community to build closer relations with the citizens of Belton. These community building events happen often, and the officers are more than delighted to hear some concerned voices. The citizens can express concerns about speeding problems in the residential area, or about unsafe locations in their neighborhood. All these topics can be discussed over breakfast and coffee. The environment is positive and welcome to all who want their voices to be heard.
The officers are open to all suggestions and concerns from the community. Officer Rey Rodriguez always anticipates interacting with the Belton community.
“We try to do a lot of stuff with our community,” said Rodriguez.
Officers feel as if the community is very important. The reason the community building is so important is due to the lack of good representation that police receive within the community. Officer Chris McDonald felt as if a positive image is important for the community to see.
“You know, the only image most people in the community get from us are not very good. The community always sees us taking someone to jail or making traffic stops. These events help us push a positive image to the citizens here in Belton,” said McDonald.
Detective Robert Gatewood agreed with spreading a positive image throughout the city and he knows that these events are always a positive interaction.
“These events always remind us what we work towards every day,” said Gatewood.
Gatewood knows that the life of an officer is very busy and it is very easy to become overwhelmed with the job.
“We get to see what is going on in other neighborhoods,” said Gatewood.
Many citizens attended this event and they were excited to feel like their voices were being heard by the officers. Debbie Smith, who is an admin for the police department, knows these events build stronger community relations.
“This lets citizens know that we are here and that is very important,” said Smith.
These community building events happen often and it is an easy way to get involved. The Belton citizens can voice their concerns, and find other ways to become involved within the community. Get involved and get to know the officers of Belton. For more information please visit their Facebook page, or contact them at (254) 217-0095.