Sheriff connects with Orange Park residents during community walk

Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels, deputies visit with Tanglewood residents

ORANGE PARK, Fla. – There was a huge law enforcement presence in the Tanglewood area of Orange Park on Tuesday as Clay County sheriff's deputies combed the streets and went door to door. 

They weren't in the neighborhood because something bad happened, but to connect with residents during Clay County Sheriff Darryl Daniels' community walk.

Daniels and many of his deputies hit the streets on foot beginning at 4:30 p.m. to meet and greet residents, and listen to their concerns.

"If it’s something that concerns them, whether it be esthetics or some criminal activity, that’s information I want to gain right here and now if I can get that," Daniels said.

Daniels said community policing -- a practice that is also used by agencies across the country -- is all about forming a bridge and having an open line of communication between law enforcement officers and the community they serve.

"You’ll never, ever reach the level that you can as a law enforcement agency without input by the community and the only way to get there is by involving yourself with them," Daniels said. "When it comes to safety and security in Clay County, we're all in this together."

There was an overwhelmingly positive response to the sheriff’s visit.

“If they want help from people, they have to be nice to them. A lot of times you don’t feel like that’s what’s happening, so I think it’s really good," resident Ms. T said. "At least when they come through, you can now wave to them. They’ll wave to you. I think it is better community relations."

Daniels, who was sworn in as Clay County's new sheriff earlier this month, said the event was a great opportunity for him and deputies to introduce themselves to residents and engage with them. 

“It’s just good to see hands on, you know. It just shows that they really care and are trying to make a change," said resident Leroy Perkins. 

The sheriff plans to hold the the community walk event once a month in different neighborhoods throughout the county. 

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