Carrollton police at protest

Carrollton Police Chief Derick Miller talks with residents during a recent peaceful protest.

The Carrollton Police Department hopes communication will help reestablish any trust that has been broken between residents and law enforcement following a series of national incidents.

The department will host two listening sessions in July to answer questions and discuss concerns the community may have.

The first session will take place from July 2 at Newman Smith High School’s auditorium, 2335 N. Josey Lane, followed by another session July 8 at Creekview High School’s auditorium, 3201 Old Denton Road. Both sessions run from 7-9 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Jolene DeVito, public information officer for the Carrollton Police Department, said while there won’t be any pre-determined topics, there will likely be a variety of issues discussed.

“We will address the common questions on policy, use of force and training that all police departments have been receiving lately as a way to get the conversation going,” DeVito said. “We are happy to address whatever questions our guests then pose in an open forum.”

DeVito said police hope to use the sessions as a way to learn what the community needs from the department.

“We want to know what they want to know so we can continue to build trust and repair any trust broken by recent national incidents,” DeVito said. “For example, it is common knowledge to us that we wear body cameras and record every law-enforcement contact with the public, but it may not be common knowledge in our community. We realized in the wake of the George Floyd murder that we needed to do an even better job of communicating our policies, practices and procedures.”

DeVito said COVID-19 safety guidelines will be in place, including wearing a mask and maintain social distancing.

“We want people to know the heart of the Carrollton Police Department,” DeVito said. “Without fail, we find that meeting with people face to face is always much more productive. It is a very tricky time to try to do that, but we are carefully planning and will carefully execute COVID-19 safety precautions that go beyond even what is mandated.  We have two sessions planned now and are open to scheduling more if the interest level calls for them.”

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