OKLAHOMA CITY – The theme of an annual event this year involved community and police relations.
The theme of Saturday’s Fall Break Blitz was “Interacting With Police, A Road Map to Change.”
"These are officers from the community and the street that are out there working in the field every day,” Bill Citty, chief of the Oklahoma City Police Department, said.
The all day event gave officers a chance to interact with adults and the youth.
"A big part of this, probably the main part, is having young adults in to talk about police issues, what their fears are, how can we improve that relationship,” Chief Citty said.
It’s a relationship that Chief Citty says is crucial.
"It's so important to have that back and forth for us to understand what makes them afraid of police officers, what makes them distrust police officers because we've got to be able to overcome that,” Chief Citty said.
They used trust exercises and demonstrations to break that barrier.
"They did an excellent job of presenting what a traffic stop is really like. I mean I know was in a traffic stop, I got pulled over for speeding two months ago and I know how it feels when that happens. So, just can't imagine what a teen would feel like being pulled over,” community member Debra Johnson said.
Chief Citty said the conversations with the youth were some of the best he’s ever been involved in.