Officers hope to connect with Lexington’s East End

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The Chenault family talks to Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Lexington Police and the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office partnered with God’s Pantry Food Bank Monday to pass out food boxes in the East End with a dual purpose – one was to fight food insecurity.

“There are lots of families that are struggling more than they might have normally struggled,” Mary Alice Daniels, Program Community Developer at God’s Pantry Food Bank, said.

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The other purpose is to strengthen community relationships.

“I’m hoping that people will see us as more than just police officers – they’ll see us a people that are not just working the community, but are a part of the neighborhood,” Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers said.

“For our kids to see officers up close and personal, it means a lot,” William Chenault said.

Chenault says too often, his three young kids only see the negative impact police can have, so he was excited that officers took the time not only to deliver food to their door, but talk to them – telling them they can be whatever they set their mind to.

“I want to be a cop,” Shemar said.  “I want to be a teacher,” Nova said. “When I grow up, I want to be a boxer,” said William.

Chenault says he hopes his neighbors see the efforts being made and try to forge a better relationship with officers.

“Because in this community, a lot of people are expecting the worse from the officers,” Chenault said.

He says he’s especially hopeful because Weathers grew up in the East End himself.

“Just down the road here when they used to have the housing development area here, this was the route I took when I walked to school when I went to Johnson Elementary, so I think it means a lot for people who look like me,” Weathers said.

“I can’t even find the words to describe it,” Chenault said. “For me, I’m 30-years-old and I grew up in this neighborhood.  It just brings a smile to my face. It’s so positive”

Weathers says he hopes eventually people will feel comfortable enough to talk to police to help prevent violence.

According to police records, there have already been 15 homicides this year in Lexington.

WATCH THE STORY HERE: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=302098808155386

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Bobbi McSwine joined the ABC 36 News Team in March 2020. She started as a Web Content Producer in November 2019. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL, known to many as the “Windy City.” She studied journalism at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign. While in school, she had a number of internships ranging from Free Spirit Media, ABC 7 Chicago and Illinois Public Media. She fell in love with writing in high school and paired that with a newfound passion for storytelling in college. She misses her hometown, but she loves the horses and rich history in Lexington. When she’s not working, she’s probably listening to music or binge-watching Netflix. She’s always looking to get to know more people in Central Kentucky, so feel free to shoot her a message on Facebook @BobbiWTVQ, follow her on Twitter @McSwineB_News, or send her an email at bmcswine@wtvq.com.