By Derek Nesbitt
The Lansing Star
LANSING — With problems occurring across the country between police departments and the citizens they’re sworn to protect, a Lansing Police Department information officer said Lansing police continue to work to make Lansing a safer environment and build relationships with their residents.
“We work with the community non-stop and a part of our big resources is that we’re very effective; at least 200 strong,” Police Information Officer Robert Merritt said.
Merritt stated that the feedback and help police receive from the community is very important toward making Lansing a safer environment. Leaders in different Lansing communities work with the department to help make the environment a safer place to live.
“Most definitely we’re on board with the community; we meet with them communicating what we have for data and what they have for information,” Merritt said.
Rikkiyah Manning, 18, a communication student at Lansing Community College, agreed that the Lansing Police Department works toward making Lansing a safer environment and building relationships with their residents.
“The Lansing Police Department take their job very serious but I know it’s for a good cause,” Manning said. “Everywhere I go, I see a police officer helping out with at least one person in the community and they are always on patrol.”
Looking back on the national issues concerning police departments such as the Ferguson shooting that took place late August, Manning stated that her safety still lies with the Lansing police and that incident has not changed her perspective on the police officers in her area.
“Lansing is a melting pot with many different races interacting with each other daily, so I can’t see something like that occurring in Lansing,” Manning said. “We’re in two different places; southern authority differs from northern and our department is pretty much careful with every issue.”
Tiara Byrd, 18, a nursing student at Lansing Community College, said the Ferguson shooting changed her perspective of all police departments.
“I look at this situation as a whole and not just the Lansing Police Department because it can happen anywhere although I have never experienced it, I still look at any police department differently,” Byrd said.