(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The country’s protests in light of the death of George Floyd are sparking outrage, and anger. However, locally law enforcement is hoping it sparks a conversation.
Responding with unity, that was the goal for law enforcement from all across the area.
Officers from the St. Joseph Police Department and Buchanan County Sheriff's office met with members of the community at John Lucas park Tuesday evening for a cookout and a conversation.
“We just wanted to take time to open up to the community and have kind of a Q and A,” Sergeant Brad Kerns from the St. Joseph Police Department said. “We all got together and we thought this would be a good idea.”
Law enforcement took questions from those in attendance, many sharing concerns over procedural practices and de escalation training.
Those concerns fueled by the recent death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
“What happened in Minneapolis, we don't agree with it,” Kerns said. “That's not how we teach, that's not how we train.”
In addition to being visible, they wanted to share as much information with the public as they could.
Those at the community event said they've never seen anything quite like it.
“I think this is good to at least get the door open to have that talk,” Gabe Barron said.
“We've never had anything like this before it's always been us against the cops,” Alexia Graves said. “I hope it actually makes a difference in the community.
Law enforcement and the community are hoping that together through more discussion, relationships between the two can stay strong.
“We're not just St. Joe PD, we're not just Buchanan County, we're a community,” Kerns said. “Now's a better time than any to open that dialogue.”
The chief of police along with several officers from the St. Joseph Police Department, and Buchanan County Sheriff's Office took part in the event.