VIRGINIA BEACH -- Dozens of police officers made their way through Lake Edward and Campus East Wednesday night, knocking on doors throughout the neighborhoods off Baker Road. They weren't investigating a crime. They were trying to learn more about the people they serve and how they can work with those people to make the communities better.
"This is one of the few times that a police officer and a citizen can interact in something that is not a highly volatile situation where they have a common goal," said Chief James Cervera, who made walked through the communities. "Our police officers are building a better city, and the folks in all these neighborhoods want a better city."
It's the third year for the initiative which finds the officers conducting a survey at each stop, asking people if they have any safety concerns, how well they feel they know their neighbors, and how police can partner with them to improve things.
"I'm glad to have 'em out here," Edie Goffigan told 13News. "I like to keep the value up on my house, keep my neighborhood safe, so I welcome 'em."
"The response has been very good," shared Officer Gary Washington. "The neighbors get to put a face to us, as opposed to us riding by in a vehicle. I give each one of 'em my card. I introduce myself, so they actually get to talk to me, and I tell 'em that I've been out here, and I'm gonna be out here, so they now have someone they can call if they have any questions or concerns."
The stops Wednesday night took place in Virginia Beach's 3rd Police Precinct. Officers are scheduled to visit the city's other precincts as follows:
- 2nd Police Precinct -- April 17
- 1st Police Precinct -- April 24
- 4th Police Precinct -- May 1