Meet me at the mall: Police have a new space in Bethesda

The room, on the same level as the food court, is named for Officer Dana Stroman, who spoke at the opening of the facility Thursday morning. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Capt. Sean Gagen called the liaison room “an incredible opportunity for us to engage even further with the community.”

COu ncil member Andrew Friedson said police/community relations are critical “to make sure that residents feel safe.”

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Police in Montgomery County, Maryland, have been working on ways to connect with the community in more relaxed settings, and the latest is with a community liaison room at Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery mall.

The room, on the same level as the food court, is a place where officers can work while the public can drop in. It’s named for Officer Dana Stroman, who spoke at the opening of the facility on Thursday morning.

“I tell you, it’s just another example of why I stayed so long in the police department,” she said, thanking Westfield Montgomery management and her colleagues.



Stroman, and the police department, have made efforts to foster and improve community relationships: “I host lots of community meetings where we have lots of different discussions about current crime patterns, trends, things that are going on in the Second District, and we really do think that’s where the relationships start.”

“I see this space here in the mall as an incredible opportunity for us to engage even further with the community,” Capt. Sean Gagen said.

Montgomery County Council member Andrew Friedson, whose district includes Bethesda, said at Thursday morning’s event: “We need to have that type of community partnership with law enforcement to make sure that residents feel safe, to make sure that businesses feel safe, to make sure that we can have the type of quality of life and amenities that we expect.”

Kate Ryan

As a member of the award-winning WTOP News, Kate is focused on state and local government. Her focus has always been on how decisions made in a council chamber or state house affect your house. She's also covered breaking news, education and more.

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