Erie's mayor announces a new community policing initiative.

Joe Schember announced the city will be part of a national pilot program called Strengthening Police in Community Partnerships.

They're partnering with the Department of Justice.

The initiative will bring together various groups in the community, along with a group of patrolmen.

They'll talk in-depth about what police are doing well, and what they can do better, and come up with ways to enhance the good efforts within the department, or make changes.

"We have real problems particularly in the minority community, the immigrant refugee communities, most of which is on the east side of Erie," said Schember. "And I think a big part of the problem is distrust between the community and police, and it goes both ways... there's distrust and community police can overcome that," Schember continued.

Mayor Schember used the police department's Quebec Unit as an example of how community policing is working in the city.
The unit, made up of six officers, was created in 1997. They focus on policing the Housing Authority properties, and over the years they have made a significant impact on crime.