TAMPA (FOX 13) - Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn condemned the killing of police officers in Dallas, and admitted every city vulnerable to a certain level of danger.
"There, but for the grace of God. It could have been any city in America."
Police said the shooter in Dallas told them he was motivated by officer shootings around the country. Tampa's leaders responded, saying that's why they want their officers to know the people they serve.
"The officers have been instructed to get out, get out of the cars, engage the community, in a simple conversation," said Chief Eric Ward. "The community needs to know these officers are here, and they have family members as well."
In just the last few months, in response to a newspaper expose on a disproportionate number of bike tickets issued to black residents, the city developed a civilian review board, which the chief said has helped.
"I hear their concerns, both positive and negative, and from those community forums," said Ward. "We went back and developed a strategy in how we can better strengthen the relationship."
A big challenge, the mayor said, is the way social media has impacted that relationship. Videos of shootings are streamed worldwide in seconds.
Like this week's deadly shootings by officers in Minnesota and Louisiana.
"If those officers involved in those cases did something inappropriate, then they deserve the full weight of the law," said Buckhorn. "They also deserve the right to the facts... That rush to judgment I think is not good for America."
The mayor said his team always welcomes civilians to record interactions with police, just as body cameras are a good thing.
He said the videos help foster mutual trust, which is a critical ingredient to good interactions.