DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – To build stronger relationships with police, one Durham neighborhood that’s been hit hard by gun violence invited police to come out for a community engagement event on Wednesday afternoon.
Charlitta Burruss lives in Edgemont Elms just east of downtown. She said that she hears gunfire every night and she recently found shell casings outside her apartment.
Burruss reached out to the police captain in her district and asked if police could plan an event where officers could come and spend time with families in the neighborhood in an effort to build more transparency between the neighborhood and police.
They held the event at Edgemont Park on Wednesday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The community grilled hot dogs, and police played music and interacted with children in the park.
Burruss said she wanted to improve the community’s relationship with police in hopes of encouraging more people to come forward when they know something about the recent shootings.
“It makes a difference, I’m telling you — relationships make a difference,” Burruss said. “And you don’t have to be scared, we just have to come together.”
Burruss is hoping that people in other districts in Durham will reach out to their police commanders and plan events like this in the future.