Del Paso Heights resident Sherri Quinn led four Twin Rivers Unified School District police officers and acting Chief Trang To on a walk through her neighborhood Tuesday.
They stopped at houses along the way to encourage residents to engage in a dialogue with the embattled Police Department.
Quinn coaxed some people outside. Others walked into their yards out of curiosity as Quinn, police and a media entourage approached.
"Their presence is fantastic," said Patrick Thornton, 33, who lives on Elm Street. "The stereotypes of the police and the community, that's divisive. That's great they are out walking."
Quinn offered the idea of a community outreach walk at a meeting Monday that had been scheduled to help ease tensions in the Del Paso Heights community toward the Twin Rivers Police Department.
Many residents who attended the meeting left unhappy, saying they thought Twin Rivers school district Superintendent Frank Porter was going to be there to listen to their concerns.
A district official said Porter is out of the country on a previously planned vacation. In his absence, residents questioned why Deputy Superintendent Ziggy Robeson was also not at Monday's meeting. Twin Rivers officials said she had a scheduling conflict.
The Twin Rivers' police force has been under intense scrutiny over the past few weeks as community members question whether officers have been focusing too much on policing the community and not enough on campuses.
The district launched an operational review, issued policies that narrowed the Police Department's focus and outlined when traffic stops and vehicle tows are appropriate. On Tuesday night, the district announced at its board meeting that it plans to have an independent operational review of its police force that will take three to six months.
Last week, Police Chief Christopher Breck was placed on paid administrative leave.
The spotlight turned on Twin Rivers after one of the department's officers was shot four times following a Saturday traffic stop last month. The officer is at home and expected to make a full recovery. The suspect died in the custody of Sacramento police.
Since then, a few residents have called for the Twin Rivers force to be disbanded, while many school principals and community members called The Bee in support of the police.
Quinn said her concern is building a better relationship between Twin Rivers officers and the communities they serve.
"I want you all to know we need you guys," Quinn told officers before the hourlong walk.
Sharon Frye said she appreciated the police effort, telling them the community needs more teen centers and interventions to keep kids from going in the wrong direction.
"If we all come together, these kids won't get lost," Frye said.
Officers handed out brochures on their department and shook hands with residents.
Acting Chief To said the effort was the first of many he would like to see the department do to repair relationships.
In addition, To said, he wants to start an operational review committee with community members and other law enforcement officials as well as a community advisory committee.