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Citizens Advisory Council hosts first town hall

Posted at 10:33 PM, Sep 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-27 22:33:40-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A diverse group of citizens advisory council members listened to candid concerns from neighbors, ranging from noise complaints to neglected neighborhoods.

"I think what we have to do is build a different relationship through policy, training, interaction," said community member Whitfield Leland.

Leland points to a few of the results participants hope to see from their engagement, many of them at wits ends with the prevalence of crime where they live.

"I am tired of my neighborhood not being safe for various reasons," adds attendee Kevin Dixon. "There are supposed to be patrols. The people that are trying to do their part to help out law enforcement, we feel that it is not enough."

While Chief Revell was unable to attend himself, Deputy Chief Tonja Smith and community relations officers were there to make sure their concerns did not fall on deaf ears.

"We've gotta deal with our police officers getting them back in the neighborhoods," Smith said. "That's going to be a huge thing. I know with COVID it's been difficult, but if we can get back with the foot patrols and get back with that interaction I think that's going to be huge for our officers as well."

Both Deputy Chief Smith, and Council Chairman Pastor Rudy Ferguson are now looking for even more community participation as the council works to keep communication open.

"We didn't get the turnout that we were looking for, but we definitely got the conversation we were looking for," Ferguson says. "So all in all I think the right people who have some real issues and real concerns came tonight to voice that."

Ferguson says the council will call a special meeting to review tonight's findings. They're also working to determine in which neighborhood they'll host the next town hall.