Police and residents take to the streets in Forest Park - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Police and residents take to the streets in Forest Park

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WSHM) -

For the third time in as many months, police and residents in the Forest Park area hit the streets Saturday morning.

They hoped to create a better relationship between the community and the officers that patrol it.

Saturday's walk around the Commonwealth Avenue area was put together by the Springfield Police Department and members from the Forest Park Business Association, the Forest Park Civic Association and the Forest Park Public Safety Initiative.

Sgt. Julio Toledo patrols the area and said there are ways to see they're making an impact.

"We have been receiving positive feedback with text-a-tip cards," said Toledo. "People are apprehensive about calling the police, however text-a-tip assures that you remain anonymous.  So, that is one of the standards when we try to evaluate our progress here."

Six of Saturday's participants were criminal justice majors from Holyoke Community College, where Toledo is their instructor.

One, who used to live in Forest Park, said she sees the need to improve the area.

"Coming back here to the areas where I used to run around, to see how things have changed is really heartbreaking," stated Wildally Colon. "Just to know all of the crime that is going on, people are really unaware of what to do when things happen."

Three more walks like Saturday's are scheduled for this year.

Anyone interested in getting involved can "like" Explore Forest Park on Facebook.

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