Paris City Councilman encourages positive police and public interaction

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PARIS, TX-- The city of Paris is looking to improve their local law enforcement's relationship with the city's youth. One council member is hoping to encourage positive police and public interaction.

"I don't want similar episodes that we have seen in other parts of the country to be repeated in Paris," said Dr. A.J Hashmi.

After recent controversy in Ferguson, Missouri, involving a an unarmed teen being shot and killed by a police officer, District 7 councilman Dr. A.J. Hashmi says he wants to prevent similar events from happening in Paris.

He tell us he wants to sponsor an event that would educate residents, ages 16-21, about what police do and how they can better communicate with first responders.

"I want them to trust their officers and have a very good relationship with them," said Hashmi. "So that in case they are ever stopped they know precisely what they are being stopped for, and what are the things to do and what are the things not to do."

Hashmi is proposing a cookout at the fairgrounds, inviting the young people to come meet police officers.

"I want it to be more of a fun event where there is learning rather than at a police office where you have to go, and there is some degree of apprehension when you go there," said Dr. Hashmi.

Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley says the police department offers several ways for residents to interact with officers including the citizens and youth police academies, but thinks targeting this specific age group will have a positive impact

"That's where we want a better relationship," said Chief Bob Hundley. "So people don't fear the cops, you don't fear the cops then the cops don't get fearful of who they are stopping. That makes it better for everyone involved."

Hashmi says he plans on reaching out to school superintendents to get the word out.

A set date and location have not been set, but Hashmi hopes to hold the event within the next 4 to 6 weeks.