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Cops and Barbers works to bridge gap between GPD, community

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GREENVILLE, Pitt County - The barbershop has historically been a pillar of the black community.

That's why when the Greenville Police Department wanted to bridge the gap between law enforcement and the black community, they turned to local barbers. GPD held its Cops and Barbers event Tuesday evening at Rodney's Barbershop on West 14th Street. "If anyone knows the history behind barbers, a lot of people come in and to be able to talk to different people and interact on different levels," barber Brad Boyd said. The nationally recognized program gives community members a chance to meet and talk with officers about issues important to the community. The program began locally in 2016 and is spearheaded by GPD Ofc. Richie Williams. It is modeled after a similar program started by the Charlotte Police Department. "It's about changing perceptions and having conversations," WIlliams said. "You can come to the barbershop and have a conversation about anything. So we want to take those conversations and bring them to the police department and see if we can change the dynamic."

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