(WHBC) – The Canton Police Department says its Community Involvement Unit is making inroads in getting to know people better in neighborhoods throughout town.

Lt. Dennis Garren says relationships with the community have grown since the Community Involvement Unit took its current shape in 2014.

“Folks who may have been afraid to talk to the police are now more comfortable as they get to know the officers in their area.”

He says if people see things they are not as leery about coming to police and telling them what’s happening in their neighborhood.

He says recent events officers attended such as Kidfest, Pups and Pages at the Dehoff Branch of the Stark County Library and a pancake breakfast at Tuslaw High School where they were able to spread the word about their Take Me Home Project, go a long way in fostering a positive relationship with community members.

“We want them to know, hey we’re human too, and we’re out here to get to know you and find out what kind of needs you have.”

Officer Lamar Sharpe, who is a big part of the Community Involvement Unit, was recently on with WHBC to talk about his Be A Better Me Foundation.