City of Davenport discusses community policing initiative

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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - The city discussed a new community policing initiative on Tuesday. Mayor Frank Klipsch said the proposal is all about prevention, mentorship, and forming relationships between law enforcement and the community.

The proposal includes adding two new school resource officers to the Davenport Community School district.

The school district received a 600 thousand dollar challenge grant from the Bechtel Trust, which will be used to fund the two new school resource officers over a three year period.

"It's about being a mentor, it's about being a positive role model, it's about building relationships in our schools with our kids, starting out young," said Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski.

The goal is to continue to form relationships with youth.

"And those guys every day are building relationships with not only the students, but also the families there, as well as the administrators and the teachers and it's about being part of the activities they're involved in as well. It's not being that armed force at the door. It's not about that," said Chief Sikorski.

It is about forming bonds while still focussing on safety.

"So it's about showing that other side of being a police officer and really trying to prevent things from happening before they happen," he said.

Chief Sikorski said preventing violence is a community effort.

"Are we seeing a trend with violence involving youth in our community? Absolutely. And that's, you know, that's something that this certainly does present and address some solutions to, you know, but the bottom line with that too is we need our entire community working on that, not just our cities and our municipalities, police departments, and school districts, but we need everybody working on that," he said.

The proposal also includes adding two new officers to the department, who will work in city neighborhoods. The city will match the grant to fund the two new officers.

Chief Sikorski said this will expand the community policing footprint in the city. He said they will know when the new officers will officially start once the proposal has been approved.