TAMPA, Fla. - Tampa police had limited its Front Porch Roll Call program in 2021 due to COVID-19 but they're back to hosting the neighborhood events on a regular basis in 2022.
"Going back to the Front Porch Roll Calls that we used to do with the community really gives us that opportunity to reach out and get to know them," TPD LT. Lisa Parashis said.
The program gives police officers the opportunity to come to residents where they live and let them know what's going on – but their real goal is to hear what residents have to say.
Friday’s event in South Tampa focused on Gasparilla safety.
"When we have events like this and we come out and we get to know them personally, we can listen to what their concerns are; and we can explain to them how we do business and what our goals are and how our mission is to partner with them, a lot of times we walk away a lot better than we were before," Parashis said.
Those in attendance said it’s a critical for them to support police and get to know the officers.
"When you know the police and you know the names of those people it’s totally different when you get to know them, what they represent and that they truly care about the citizens of South Tampa here," resident Mark Hamilton said.
Residents said the two-way communication builds stronger relationships between law enforcement and the community.
"A lot of times people don’t have police interaction and so when they get the opportunity to get to know us as humans and for us to learn what their story is, it gives us that ability to empathize with one another."
To request a Front Porch Roll Call for your neighborhood, call TPD’s non-emergency line at 813-231-6130 and they’ll put you in touch with your district office.