A unique meeting of the Albemarle County Crime Prevention Council Monday night. The group which meets regularly decided to take a close look at how to improve relations between county police officers and the people they serve as a follow-up to the controversial shooting of unarmed suspect Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Representatives of the Albemarle Police Department spoke of efforts to recruit minority police officers and other commitments to public service, including geophysical policing, something that started in 2012. Police officers now walk the beat in one area versus patrolling different areas of the county during different shifts. Concerns during public comment included the role of race in police interaction, but one resident expressed thanks over the department’s efforts to better understand the people they serve and protect, adding that officers are not perfect, but he’s seen improvement. Another resident expressed support for body cams, but asked Albemarle Police to ensure the cameras stay in good working order. The department will soon be using newer, higher quality body cameras.
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