SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The San Diego Police Department kicked off their latest round of safety walks as concerns grows over an increase of crime and violence in the region.
The hope was to help and listen to people at a shopping center in Mira Mesa on Wednesday.
"I'm so happy to see them. That's why I say, 'OK, let me go talk with them,' because so many like homeless here and sometimes they don't listen to us and they don't scare,” said Parven Singh, owner of Perfect Beauty Bar.
"I mean, certain areas that I am more familiar driving through definitely seem a little more shady than they used to,” said Reid Castro, who visited the Mira Mesa mall with his family.
These walks are all about connecting to the community for SDPD Chief David Nisleit and City Councilmember Chris Cate.
“We’re hearing a lot of concerns from our community. So, this is just our opportunity — myself and Councilmember Chris Cate — to come out here, hear the concerns from the community,” Nisleit said.
"And to try to break down any perceived barriers that may be there that exist that prevents our community members from reaching out to the department,” Cate said.
"I'm working with the POA. I'm working with the mayor. We're going to make certain that we keep staffing this police department. And I think everyone understands the importance of keeping this police department staffed,” Nisleit said.
As the city's top cop and others walk a different beat on this day, people are glad their voices are being heard.
"Especially having two young kids, wanting to go out and do more social activities and go to the parks and things of that nature, it's definitely refreshing to see the police out here and councilmemebers kind of making sure things are on the right track,” Castro said.
Nisleit told ABC 10News they're planning on doing similar community safety walks in Hillcrest, the Gaslamp Quarter and other areas of the city.