Lunch With A Cop Hopes To Build Trust, Community

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By Matt Galka
July 12, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - 19 year old Delaitre Hollinger is young, but that doesn't mean he isn't in tune with Frenchtown's past. Hollinger runs the Taylor House museum, documenting the Tallahassee community's history.

"During the early half of the 20th century to the 1960's it really served as the heart of the black community," said Hollinger.

But now, a different attitude and a higher crime rate plague the area.

"Vagrancy, there are some people who have been defacating on the properties here in Frenchtown," Hollinger said about just one of the problems in the area.

So what's the solution? Maybe it's just community outreach.

"We're going to come here and have lunch and try to open up dialogue with anyone who wants to come in and join us and talk about the issues that are important with them so it gives us more of a one on one perspective for people that live in the community," said Major Chris Connell of the Tallahassee Police Department.

The Tallahasse Police Department will launch their "lunch with a cop program" at the end of this month. Folks from the Frenchtown community will be invited to sit down with T.P.D officers at the Blue Collar restaurant to hopefully forge a better relationship. Hollinger says it's the right move.

"Having lunch with them is an excellent idea. to get to know them, to get to know what their problems are, to be on a first name basis with the residents that will be excellent for solving many of our problems," said Hollinger.

The "lunch with a cop" program will take place during the last week of every month on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

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