COLLIER COUNTY, Fla., - Members of the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Naples Police Department, NAACP and the community gathered for a town hall Wednesday night at River Park Community Center to discuss recommendations for improving community relationships with local law enforcement.
The town hall started off with a video meant to teach community members their rights and how to properly handle being stopped by a police officer. Their theme was, “All lives matter.”
“We all have life and life is valuable and we have to value that life in order to protect it and not live in a constant state of fear in our society,” said Pastor Ricky Neal, a member of the Collier NAACP.
The meeting happened in light of recent headlines of officer involved shootings in Southwest Florida and across the country, and a week after someone shot a Sanibel police officer after he pulled over a driver.
“I think when we watch and see what goes on in the rest of the nation, everyone becomes uneasy and they question do we have a safe community and we absolutely do and it’s because of events like this and we have to continue to do them,” said Collier County Sheriff Kevin Rambosk
The Collier County Sheriff says while his county hasn’t seen the same high profile officer-involved violence as other places, he does know his deputies are facing more dangers every day, especially when they respond to troubled homes.
“We have more domestic violence issues with weapons. We have more batteries than we’ve had before with weapons,” said Sheriff Rambosk.
Collier NAACP says the goal is to help remind people to keep the peace even after cops show up.
“We want to teach our citizens how we should respond and also give police officers an opportunity to understand the citizens better,” said Neal.
Members of the community got a chance to ask questions and speaks their mind having the full ear of local law enforcement leaders working to better understand their citizens.
“We can actually listen to our residents and then respond to what they believe they need in their communities,” said Sheriff Rambos.