Neighborhood Walks with VPD and VFD bring the community together

The City of Valdosta Police and Fire Department have recently initiated a neighborhood walk program which has shown to be successful in forming relationships between public safety and Valdosta residents.

There have been several new initiatives over the last few months to get the police and fire department more involved in the community, and to get people within the community working with each other more. The neighborhood walk is the newest event that is part of the city’s effort to increase community engagement. Working together improves communication and understanding.

On Wednesday, August 21, fourteen VPD and VFD personnel visited the Hudson Dockett neighborhood as part of the neighborhood walk program. The event was a huge success, allowing public safety officials to address issues such as non-working smoke alarms, education about anonymous tip lines, youth mentoring program and traffic/ speed concerns. During this walk, VPD officers encouraged residents to call when they see crimes happening. The goal of the program is to cut down on crime and allow police to be more visible in the community.

“Any opportunity our public safety members have to interact with the community reinforces the unity between the city and citizens. Our last experience revealed potential problems with smoke alarms that afforded us the opportunity to be proactive in life safety measures,” said Valdosta Fire Chief Brian Boutwell.

“These walks allow us to have positive interaction with our citizens. Having one on one conversations help us address any concerns residents have in their neighborhood. We want citizens to know they can call us at any time with concerns or comments,” said Valdosta Police Chief Leslie Manahan.

For more information on the Neighborhood Walk Program, please contact the City of Valdosta Public Information Office at 229-259-3548.