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.”