In January of 2019 at its initial annual meeting, Pleasantville City Council approved a resolution appointing nine community leaders to the newly formed Pleasantville Police Community Advisory Board. Mayor Jesse L. Tweedle Sr. and Police Chief Sean Riggin formed the Advisory Board in accordance with state recommendations for improving police community relations.
The Advisory Board’s purpose is to implement the positive effects of community policing as indicated in President Barack Obama’s 21st Century Policing Report. Community policing is both a philosophy and an organizational strategy that equips the local police department and the community to partner in productive ways to solve the problems of crime, fear of crime, physical and social disorder, illicit drugs and those concerns affecting public safety and well-being.
The Advisory Board has held two of its chartered six meetings so far this year. In keeping with the board’s vision and mission statements to promote comprehensive community trust, investment, cooperation and accountability with our police department while improving the quality of life for all residents, the first Annual Police Appreciation Day was held at La Cosecha Supermarket on June 6. The community came out and engaged our police officers at every level of the department, sharing their appreciation for public safety and developing productive dialogue. In addition, Faro de Luz Restaurant on North Main Street hosted the police department and the Police Chaplains’ squad for an appreciation meal on June 17.
In its most recent meeting held at the end of June, the Advisory Board formulated and approved a city-wide police community relations survey. The survey was developed in an effort by city government to have our citizenry take an active part in public safety and provide productive feedback to our police department.
The surveys will be available for distribution in the next few weeks through local churches as well as the public library and City Hall. The surveys can be returned to any of the local churches where they are distributed or to Advisory Board members: Pastor Richard Younger of Living Water/Agua Viva Church; City Councilman Augustus Harmon; Pastor Dennis Moreno of Iglesia Por Gracis Sois Salvos; Cindy Pitts, owner of Lucky Dog Custom Apparel; Pastor Keven Ragland of Lighthouse Community Church; Pat Royal, longtime Pleasantville educator and member of NAACP leadership committee for local Mainland Chapter; and community members Vernon Walker and William Ward. In addition, the Advisory Board welcomes input from residents s to improve police community relations and for the well-being of our city.