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Birmingham community leaders hope to see change with new acting police chief

Community reacts to BPD Chief resignation
Published: Jan. 28, 2022 at 9:45 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 28, 2022 at 10:15 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Community leaders say they hope Chief Patrick Smith’s resignation improves crime in the city.

Ensley Highlands neighborhood president, Joyce Christian, said under Chief Smith, the high-crime area was able to get a police liaison, cameras, and a crime reporting app. But, she said there are still safety concerns.

She is hoping under new leadership they can get more officers patrolling the area and interacting with the community.

Christian said she thinks more people in the neighborhood would report crimes if they felt more comfortable and familiar with the officers. But, she said what they really need is more communication from police.

“Our main issue is getting follow ups,” Christian said. “Seeing what is going on in our neighborhood and how we can help the neighbors going through different issues like shootings and domestic violence. We really want to be able to talk to the chief and get more information on what is going on and being able to follow up on cases.”

She said at their neighborhood meetings, community members just want more information on the crimes and cases they have heard about. She said if police could provide them more details and clarity on the resolve of cases, that would help build trust.

Christian said they are also hoping to launch a neighborhood watch team with the help of Birmingham police.

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