It was a full house Friday in an Aliquippa cafe as nearly two dozen community leaders talked about bridging the gap between law enforcement and the residents of Beaver County.
The news conference launched the Beaver County Community and Law Enforcement Coalition.
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The group's mission is to repair the relationship between police and residents. And if you walk the streets of Aliquippa and ask residents, there's lots of repairing to do.
"If you don't talk to the community and get out and reach to them, it's not going to make a difference," said one woman.
At the news conference, police officers, pastors and state troopers gathered to focus on creating a bond between officers and the community by talking about issues and devising solutions that benefit everyone.
After high-profile police shootings nationwide, the goal is to keep similar events from happening in Beaver County.
"The common goal is mending the rift" -Beaver Co sheriff on community/ police relationship pic.twitter.com/cRp9yv3IBo— Gabriella DeLuca (@GabriellaDeLuca) May 12, 2017
"The key is this isn't a reaction to something, this is proactive," said Beaver County Sheriff Tony Guy. "This is us saying we need to take care of this before something bad happens."
The group is in the process of planning events for residents and officers to get to know each other and rebuild trust.
"If they put their effort into it and they keep their effort and actually do what they say they're going to do, they're going to make leeway," the woman said.
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