CHARLOTTE, NC (WJZY) - Police officers across the country are facing a trust crisis.
"The difference between blue lives and all lives is that at the end of the day blue lives get to take their uniforms off. We can't go home and take off our skin."
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Kerr Putney says things have to change.
"When there is ill will to mistreat any segment of the population. I don't want them in our ranks. Charlotte is better than that,” Chief Putney said.
His officers are heeding the call by getting out of their patrol cars.
"We are getting out of our cars to engage the community and we want the community to engage us," CMPD Steele Creek Division Lieutenant Mark Santaniello.
CMPD held a “Community Corners” event in Steele Creek to give the community an opportunity to know who is protecting their neighborhood and start the conversations people are asking for.
"I applaud them for doing that. I think it's very useful that there's a line of communication between the residents and law enforcement," Quanda Godfrey said.
These “Community Corners” have been happening all across Charlotte for the last year. Community members say that this is great way to put a face to the cars that patrol their neighborhood.
"Most of the time I see them in the car and usually when I’m talking to them usually I might be pulled over or something else. So it's nice to be one on one and talk to them," Jim Boreman said.
Officers at the event were ready to answer any questions and address problems residents were facing, to even taking the time to give kids a tour of their work "office." This is all in an effort to erase the metaphorical line in the sand that has been dividing blue and black lives.
"You get to see that they are just like you are. They are interested in helping you and making the community better and that's what it's all about,” Barbara Dunlap said.
"if we can establish those relationship and partnerships with people. That level of trust, than an officer that's going 35 mile per hour in a blue and white that's vital in problem solving and that's what we are trying to accomplish, said Lt. Santaniello.