TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - In the Giant Foods parking lot near downtown Tuskegee, Chief Marquez James took a giant step in solidifying the police department's relationship with the community, something he felt was necessary and needed to be done now.
"Across the country right now we're dealing with a lot of distrust as it relates to law enforcement and we want to fix that," said Tuskegee Police Chief Marquez James.
And so, the chief along with the sheriff of Macon County and the chief of nearby Franklin, James put together the first 'Bridging the Gap' meet-and-greet. James is hoping gatherings like this one will help solve crimes in a more timely fashion. A case in point; no arrest so far in the murder of a 21-year-old man two days ago.
"And events like this can actually address those types of violence and have the community feel more comfortable reaching out to us," said James.
Samantha Brown brought her two boys to the event. She applauds what the new chief is trying to accomplish.
"We need this in this in our community and Tuskegee," Brown said.
Chief James is well aware this won't be the panacea in solving all community problems, but serving up popcorn, chicken and sausage on the grill and the inflatables for the kids could reduce that gap of distrust a little more.
The Tuskegee Fire Department was also a major player in putting on the 'Bridging the Gap' meet and greet. Chief James intends to sponsor similar events throughout the year in an effort to bring the community together.