Brookhaven Police Department is getting high tech, implementing two new methods to collect community feedback and data. 

The community checkbox is an online documentation system BPD is using to compare community outreach efforts to the city’s crime rate demographics. The tool will be fully implemented in less than two months, Sgt. Kevin Martinez told Brookhaven City Council members at a meeting in January. 

BPD is making an effort to build trust through public education, according to their 2023 community engagement plan. 

Within the next 90 days, BPD is implementing a survey via QR code on business cards. The public will be able to give feedback on each with a police officer, Sgt. Martinez said. 

The outreach plan includes training officers on principles of community policing and cultural awareness, forming an intercultural council, holding Equitable Dinners at Work and increasing the availability of mental health professionals to assist police officers when needed.

Citizens Police Academy classes will be held this year – one in Spanish and two in English – teaching Constitutional law, search and seizure, patrol functions, criminal investigations, use of force and emergencies and 911. The first class is March 8. 

“BPD can provide educational classes to the public as a method of deterring crime trends that we’re noticing on the rise, and we can also use that to build trustful relationships with community members,” he said. 

Annual events by BPD include Coffee with a Cop, Shop with a Badge, Hot Pursuit 5K race and National Night Out. Mazrtinez said the department plans to continue partnerships with the Latin American Association, consulates and religious groups. 

“This plan will serve as a roadmap to guide the BPD towards meaningful community engagement with welcomed partnership from community members of all backgrounds,” Sgt. Martinez added.  

Logan C. RitchieStaff Writer

Logan C. Ritchie writes features and covers Brookhaven for Rough Draft Atlanta.