Bridgeport police renew efforts to repair community relations

Posted: Updated:

Bridgeport police and city officials on Monday announced a renewed effort to repair ties with the community.

David Daniels, a former member of the city’s police department, will return as a consultant to help reboot the community policing initiative, the city announced.

Many residents remember retired Lt. Daniels as an outspoken figure who isn't afraid to ruffle feathers, including those of his bosses at the police department. Now it will be Daniels' job to help mend fences with the community.

The police department is struggling to rebuild ties to the community after the police-involved shooting death of 15-year-old Jayson Negron during a traffic stop in May.

"The way to get past it is to be consistent and to be honest, to be open and forthcoming," Daniels says. "So what we're going to try to do is foster their relationships, so that we can build trust."

Shawn Byrd, of the Bridgeport Organization for Youth Sports, says community policing is a good first step.

"By having some dialogue and speaking to our youth, you come to understand who they are and who they can be," he says.

Officials say people will see major changes soon, such as officers being reassigned to direct neighborhood duty.

Bridgeport also plans to start testing police body cameras and dashboard cameras within the next month.

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