A big part of her job is building trust in the community. Garrett says “Some of them only want a little respect. If you treat them with respect, it goes a long way.”
The Shreveport Times spoke to one man civilian who knew her for years. “She’s been around here awhile. She looks after the homeless, takes care of them… makes sure we’re not doing anything wrong… She is one of the most influential police officers out here on the streets.”
She also recognizes that there are reasons behind the fear and distrust people have for the police, and actively works to address those issues.
“There are some kids, the first time they ever have any interaction with the police is when their parent is getting arrested. They become scared. We want to break down that barrier.”
That’s why it’s not unusual to hold a “Night Out” where the police officers do a meet and greet with the neighborhoods they serve.
Garrett said, “Without that rapport, it’s hard to get the information. It’s hard to get them to work with you on anything. You treat them with respect, you talk with them, they learn that we are also out there to help them.”
With so much tension between communities and police departments, this is exactly the kind of action that we need to start seeing more of.