As police agencies across the country deal with an increase in violence against its officers, many are trying to build strong relationships with their communities including in National City.
School Resource Officer Salvador Gil gets a hug from a student at Las Palmas Elementary.
“A lot of times people kind of believe that the police are not approachable,” Gil explained. “We want to make sure that if we start off with the elementary school kids.”
Officers want to make sure students are safe, and that parents give themselves enough time to find a parking space so their children are not rushing to get to class, and possibly running through traffic.
Gil said it’s something he can help start when the children are young.
“We can lay the foundation as they get older, they feel they can trust the police and they come to us if they ever need us,” he said.
The National City Police Department has been focusing on community outreach for the last several years.
Their efforts may be reflected in the crime rate.
According to the FBI Crime Index, crime in National City has decreased 28 percent between 2012 and 2016.