Chief to do radio interview
Published 9:41 pm Thursday, December 8, 2016
An old medium will be a new way of communication for the Suffolk Police Department this Sunday.
Chief Thomas Bennett and Maj. Steve Patterson will participate in a radio interview at 3 p.m. this Sunday. Dr. Prince F. Johnson will host the interview on Worship Jesus Radio, 103.5 FM.
Johnson said she decided to hold the event after unjust shootings by and of police officers that have happened across the country.
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“Initially when viewing some of the tragic scenarios that happened between police and citizens across the country, my heart was just torn,” Johnson said. “Unjust shootings of officers who were just doing their duty broke my heart also. I was praying about our city and what I can do to make a difference in my own community.”
Johnson said she felt led to open up the lines on her radio station and invite the police chief to share about how similar tragedies can be prevented.
“If it saves a life, I feel like we’ve all done our duty,” she said.
Topics covered will include what citizens should do when they encounter police officers, how to interact with police, how to build trust and joint projects that might benefit the community.
“We will cover a myriad of topics,” Johnson said. “If people know what is required when they do a check or a stop, it can cut down on the confusion.”
Bennett will outline some topics he wants to cover and then take questions from Suffolk Clergy United. Telephone lines will then be opened up so citizens who have questions can call in. Questions on the Facebook page or tweeted to @worshipjesus247 will also be accepted. The event will be live-streamed at WorshipJesusRadio.ChurchOnline.org.
Folks are also invited to the station to view the interview live, Johnson said. It is located at 4165 Pruden Blvd.
Johnson applauded Bennett for being willing to participate in the event.
“I really think it’s important for us to have some kind of network and trust already,” she said. “I’m not seeing other police chiefs do this. What he’s doing is so noteworthy, and other police chiefs should follow his example.”
Johnson encouraged participation from the community.
“We really encourage the community to show up,” Johnson said. “It’s so easy to complain about a service and not be part of the solution but want to be part of the problem. Let’s show him we’re going to be there to hear what he has to say.”
Johnson said the interview will last about an hour and a half.
Johnson said a second session will be held in January on the topic of hiring more ethnically diverse officers for the department. A date for that session has not yet been set.