HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – On a daily basis The Huntsville Police Department responds to a variety of different scenes. They will be the first ones to tell you they depend a lot on the community for help. "At the end of the day, we can`t do anything without the community`s input and without their involvement. People use the term community policing it`s been going on for years, but the key word is community," Lieutenant Stacy Bates explained.
That relationship with the community is important to HPD. Lieutenant Bates said they can only do so much and be proactive in areas where crime is high. "But when it`s all said and done if the community is not working with us we are not going to be able to stop those long term issues," Lieutenant Bates said.
He said community watch groups are great to get involved with. "We have over 100 community watches in the city limits of Huntsville, they work closely with our officers and investigators," Lieutenant Bates said. He said when people get involved they are sending a message.
"What they are doing is they are getting involved and saying this is my neighborhood and I'm just not going to complain about what`s going on here. I`m going to step up and do my part to make it a better place to live," Lieutenant Bates said.
He said that's why they focus on the youth of the communities. "From a police standpoint reaching out that`s just building that bridge to keep that community policing going on in the future. If we can reach that youth today then as they get older maybe they will have more of that mindset and will want to get involved with the community," Lieutenant Bates said.
He said the youth will also feel more comfortable with talking with the police, because they are starting to build a bond with them at an early age.