Citizens chat with Chief Chandler

Published 4:58 pm Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Local residents came by to “Chat with the Chief” as part of a Saturday morning meet and greet with Suffolk Chief of Police Alfred Chandler Jr. at One Step Forward Nutrition. 

The event offered those attending the opportunity to ask questions and gather information as they visited with Chandler in an informal setting, Saturday, June 3.

Suffolk resident Elsa Weller said she was pleased the meet and greet allowed her to confirm of the status of traffic cameras near her residence in Holland.=

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“I got clarification on Holland Road and that the cameras are in place,” she said.

Chandler also had favorable comments on the meet and greet and its ability to provide communication between the police department and the public. He noted this is one of quite a few of these that he and the department have held.

“We’ve done many of them in different places. What we try to do is as often as we can, have the opportunity to come out in a relaxed environment, just give citizens the chance to chat and bring their questions, bring their comments, bring their suggestions,” Chandler said. “We’ve been able to learn a lot. We’ve been able to explain a lot and really be able to connect better with our citizens.”

Chandler highlighted the importance of having dialogue for residents to learn about them and vice-versa. Likewise, he noted that some may believe that nothing is being done due to not being able to “ee the things working in the background.

“There are times that citizens may feel that the police department is not doing a certain thing or has not considered a certain thing, and it may not be something that is police related,” he said. It may be another entity that has to handle that. There are other times that we as a police department gain information and find out ‘hey we may be able to do this a better way.’ Maybe our message is not getting across as well as we thought it was.”

Chandler hopes the meet and greet events do help inform the public.

“My hope is that with each one of these events that we have, that our citizens realize that we really are a transparent department and we really are an organization that considers our citizens a part of our organization,” Chandler said. “It is not us against them. We are all in this together and we are effective because of our relationship with our citizens.”

To ensure convenient access for the community, “Chat with the Chief” events will be held in other locations in Suffolk in the near future, but no date or location has been announced for the next one.