SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After the grand jury decisions not to indict police officers involved in Michael Brown and Eric Garner‘s deaths, people’s confidence in law enforcement declined. However, in Hampden County the District Attorney Elect hopes an active community outreach will help foster a strong relationship between people and police.
Just about a month before his swearing-in ceremony, Hampden D.A.-Elect Anthony Gulluni met Wednesday night with dozens of Springfield residents. Gulluni won the Hampden District Attorney’s race by a landslide. He beat three Democrat candidates, and he did not have any Republican or Independent challengers.
A few days ago, a new Gallup poll revealed Americans’ declining trust in their local law enforcement. The poll found that only about 60% of whites and hispanics trust their local police. And among African-Americans, the number drops to just one third.
D.A. Elect Gulluni told 22News that’s why it’s important now more than ever to meet and speak with community members. He said, “It’s this that will establish that rapport between the D.A.’s office and me as the District Attorney and the people. So hopefully we have the people’s trust here in Hampden County from Springfield to Palmer to Westfield to everywhere.”
People agreed. Having an open two-way line of communication is crucial. Kelsey Manley said, “If we want our politicians to come to things, then we as citizens need to come to things. If we want our politicians to make certain choices, we need to vote certain ways and show them what way we want. We should be willing to partner with them to make better communities.”