PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – In the second installment of “Meet the Beat Cop,” residents of Homewood were able to sit down and talk with the officers that patrol their streets.

“I think it’s really important for the community to be able to interact with officers,” said Pittsburgh Police Officer Tenisha Pettus.

“What we want from the police officers is to be more like counselors in the community,” said Larry Davis Sr., with Coalition for Fathering Families.

The event was organized by a group called the Coalition, which is made up of several gun violence prevention and community organizations. The hope is that eh community and police will build better relationships with each other.

“It goes on trust and right now there’s no trust in the community,” said Davis.

“It’s gonna keep going on,” said Andre Ripley. “It’s gonna keep going on if we don’t resolve it or have a problem with it.”

And after the first meet and greet, there was already a sign that it’s working.

“One of the children who was here last time saw an officer on the street,” said Davis. “When the child saw the officer, the child went up to the officer. So those are things we want to see. They may be small, but they’re big.”

“When we see each other in the community, we’ll be able to greet each other and feel comfortable with each other,” said Pettus.

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Heather Abraham