EPD Starting Walking Wednesdays Program

You may see a friendly face in uniform strolling down your street as spring turns to summer -- the Evansville Police Department is kicking off a new Walking Wednesdays program, with the goal of building good relationships with community members.

Posted: Apr 14, 2021 7:06 PM

Every week, Evansville Police Officers are covering several miles of neighborhood streets as a part of their new Walking Wednesdays Program.

Last Wednesday, it was the Jimtown and Jacobsville neighborhoods. And on April 14th, it was the southside side on Lodge Avenue.

On the most recent walk, several Crime Prevention officers walked alongside the assistant chief, checking in on community members.

"They'll come out and want to talk about things in the neighborhood,” said EPD officer Chad Diedrich. “Maybe they didn't feel it was significant to call 911 and since we're in the area -- they'll bring it up."

They even caught up with a former police officer, while one woman gave officers water half way through the trek.

"There's 120,000 citizens in Evansville -- only about 300 officers,” said Assistant Chief of Police, Phil Smith. “So, the likelihood of those citizens meeting the officer or every officer meeting a citizen is not that high."

And while the EPD already tries to empower the younger generation through Cops Connecting with Kids and toy drives at Christmas -- this is just another way to reach them.

"We have to build that trust at a young age," Diedrich said. "So, they're comfortable with law enforcement as they grow older and hopefully they stay in our community."

The hope is that more people will start seeing the police as friends -- not the enemy.

"When we're patrolling -- we're in a car -- that's a barrier," Smith said. "'I know there is an officer in my neighborhood but I don't know who that officer is.' This puts us right there to be accessible."

Next Wednesday, EPD officers will be walking near the Grandview Tower Apartments.

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The stretch of dry weather will be extended into the workweek. Expect a high of 86° Monday. Highs will continue to make a run towards the 90-degree mark on both Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Cooler and seasonal air does not return until Friday and the weekend.
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