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CCPD town hall workshop tonight

By Staff | Jun 28, 2016

Cape Coral residents have a chance to provide the police chief and his department with their input during an interactive community event set for tonight.

The Cape Coral Police Department and Interim Police Chief Dave Newlan will host a town hall workshop today from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Calusa Room at The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village. The department began organizing community engagement forums for the public in 2011.

“Typically, what it would be is a State of the Department speech from the chief, followed by a question-and-answer session,” Sgt. Dana Coston, spokesman for the CCPD, said Tuesday.

However, this event has evolved to become more of an interactive workshop. The attendees will be broken down into three groups, which will rotate through a series of three 10-minute sessions.

“The participants will rotate through each station,” he said.

Newlan and members of his command staff will head up each of the sessions.

“We’ll have a sampling (of representatives) from around the department,” Coston said.

The goal is to receive direct input and feedback from the community.

“We want the feedback, I think that’s key,” he said. “We want the partnership with our residents.”

One session will focus on the city’s traffic and making the Cape’s roads safer.

“Things that citizens might want us to do that we’re not doing, or maybe there’s things the citizens don’t know we’re doing already,” Coston said.

Another session will look at property crime, specifically vehicle burglaries. The CCPD’s “Lock It or Lose It” program will be covered, as well as better ideas on how to get the program’s message out.

“We’re going to focus on vehicle burglaries,” he said.

The final session will serve as an open brainstorming session.

“Maybe the citizens will bring something to us that we’re not aware of,” Coston said.

He cited possible quality of life issues or other crimes as examples.

“Is there something that is important to the residents that we need to adjust in our priorities?” he asked.

“We want our citizens to feel safe, as well as be safe,” Coston added.

The interactive sessions will be followed by a typical question-and-answer session.

Coston explained that the CCPD chose traffic and vehicle burglaries as the first topics to discuss with residents because they are prominent themes that stand out when the department reviews statistics.

“There has been an increase in traffic crashes and fatalities,” he said. “And we’ve had an uptick in car burglaries and a disturbing trend of firearms stolen out of vehicles, so we wanted to address those.”

Officials will attempt to stream the workshop live on Facebook for those who cannot attend.

A couple dozen residents turned out for the last community engagement forum.

“We’ve had some that were very well attended,” Coston said.

“We’re experimenting ourselves, so we’ll see how it goes,” he added.

At the next workshop, officials will start off with a feedback session. The department will share what was gathered from the previous event, what the department did in response to that and the results.

“We’re not only having the initial conservation, but we’re putting the conservation into action and reporting on the results,” Coston said.

Residents are encouraged to come out and participate.

“Community policing,” he said. “We can’t do it without the input and assistance of the public.”

For more information, contact the Cape Coral Police Department at 239-574-3223 or visit: www.capecops.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/CapePD.

The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village is at 5951 Silver King Blvd., in Cape Coral.