40 Birmingham police officers walk through Gate City

CBS 42

[lin_video src=http://eplayer.clipsyndicate.com/embed/player.js?aspect_ratio=16×9&auto_next=1&auto_start=0&div_id=videoplayer-1368584873&height=480&page_count=5&pf_id=9624&show_title=1&va_id=4057561&width=640&windows=2 service=syndicaster width=640 height=480 div_id=videoplayer-1368584873 type=script]BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – The April shooting death of a mother in Birmingham’s Gate City neighborhood led police to meet the community on foot and in force Tuesday afternoon.

About forty Birmingham police officers loaded up on a bus and hit the streets to interact with residents in the Marks Village Housing Project.  That’s the same neighborhood where police say a stray bullet fatally injured a mother in her doorway last month.

Chief A.C. Roper says the event is about making a positive impression on people in the community so they will be willing to share information with the police.  It involved officers and members of the command staff because as he puts it they have to “lead from the front” to show the importance of their relationship with the community.

Alisa Allen says she’s been in the Marks Village Housing Project since September. There have been multiple shootings in her neighborhood since then.

“I hadn’t really been afraid. You know we have gunshots or whatever, but I kind of stay to myself,” said Allen.

Roshaunda Nevett is afraid.

“I say it’s scary because I was a victim April 1st. And when the buckshots had shot me in my face in my eye, some of it’s still in my eye. And I’ll be glad when I move up out of Gate City,” said Nevett.

Both say they appreciate seeing Birmingham Police Officers on their front door steps, who aren’t responding to a call.

“We’ve had our challenges in this community. We’ve actually been running other operations here in addition to what we’re doing today, because we understand there is an enforcement angle, but there is also a community relations angle. And so we have to put both of those together to really get the impact that we need,” said Chief A.C. Roper, Birmingham Police Department.

“They know that we care about them and us taking time out of our schedule to do this really sends a strong message,” said Chief Roper. “For us to really improve the quality of life in Birmingham we need a strong police community partnership. We have to have good relationships based on trust. There is no way that we can be successful without the community partnering with us. We can’t be everywhere. We can’t see everything.”

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