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Police in Arizona share hopes for improved community relations

(AP Photo)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Law enforcement professionals, community leaders and others came together Monday to discuss the relationship between communities and police.

The Bridge Forum hosted, among others, Scottsdale Police Chief Alan Rodbell. He said a good relationship with the community benefited everyone.

“As guardians, we need to be in partnership and not overseers of the public,” he said. “Community policing just means spending time, communicating, listening to each other’s needs.”

Michael Johnson, with forum partner Checkered Flag Run Foundation of Phoenix, agreed communication was one of the big keys to good relations.

“Every effort, everything we do to bring about and bridge those communication gaps, certainly improves the relationship,” he said.

Mayor Jim Lane said a strong community-police relationship was not only good for residents, but visitors, too.

“[Tourists] come from around the country … and around the world,” he said.

“Certainly we want to have everybody feel safe. And, we want everybody to feel that they are being treated equally and fairly.”

The Monday forum was held in Scottsdale and was hosted by Nielsen, Thurgood Marshall College Fund and the Checkered Flag Run Foundation.

The nonprofit Checkered Flag Run Foundation‘s mission statement was listed online as “investing in education to ensure every student and veteran gets to cross the finish line.”

Other panelists included Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir and Chief Karl Auerbach of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.

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