Tucson area peace officers meet residents, build relationships in the wake of mass shootings around the U.S.

Posted at 10:37 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-07 01:37:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Tucson police officers and Pima County Sheriff's deputies are building a way to get closer to the people they've sworn to protect at National Night Out 2019.

"We are one community and support each other after a horrible event like that," Tucson Police Sergeant, Will Corrales said.

The scene couldn't be more different than what the entire country has seen this week, that of broken communities.

"Often times what we see more of is tragic and different circumstances and that's not what happens everyday," Deputy James Allerton said.

It's a diplomatic gesture to establish trust, break the ice, and like a meeting with a new friend, sharing ice cream.

"It's a one on one," said south Tucson resident, Yolanda Herrera.

"When you start building that confidence with our officers and knowing that they really are committed to keeping us safe."

Herrera had her own ice breaker with police in the early 1970s with a simple goodwill gesture.

"I've even so much as in the past invited them to dinner."

She says the officers, in their badges and uniforms are, in the end, real people and for her always invited guests.

"Just because they're parked in front of my house does not mean I'm having an issue."

Herrera wants to encourage anyone to do what she did: break the ice and build a relationship with police.

"If they have a conversation with our officers then they can build a relationship."

"Being with the community," Sgt. Corrales said, "having that trust, building those partnerships doing these types of events, in a horrible day: we know we have each other's back."