Expect to see police officers walking through the Heart of Boynton Beach Neighborhood.
The city commission approved plans this week to open a police substation and begin a Neighborhood Officer Policing Program.
The plan calls for officers to work out of an office at 404 E Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. But they'll spend 75 percent of their time walking, biking or riding Segways along the street and in the neighborhood.
The move is meant to build trust and respect between the public and police with the hope of building a partnership to solve crime issues.
The Boynton Beach Coalition of Clergy called this the right move. The group had previously called for the chief of police to resign, but is happy with the direction the department is going.
A spokesman from the group released this statement:
"We commend the Boynton Beach Police department for the community policing initiative that's designed to build relationships within the community and inspire trust in law enforcement. We've seen in other communities across the nation some community police initiatives begin with this intention but end up over-policing a certain demographic, which created more challenges. We're believing God that this won't be the case and it will be a tremendous blessing to not only the Heart of Boynton beach but Boynton beach on a whole. The nation needs to follow Boynton beaches lead and initiate programs to change the climate of a nation. We will support this as much as possible."
The initiative will cost about $200,000 annually. Police have not said when they'll officially launch the program.
Blue markers represent burglaries
Purple markers represent assaults
Red markers represent robberies