DADE CITY — Two of Pasco County’s top cops received a warm welcome as they walked the streets of downtown Tuesday morning.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco and Dade City Police Chief Ray Velboom walked door to door in an effort to make themselves accessible to citizens in the area.
“Unless you’re a real active member of the community, you don’t know who’s who,” Carole Bradshaw, manager of Quilts on Plum Lane, said after a conversation with Nocco and Velboom. “So I think this is good, especially for merchants, (for them) to come around and touch base and let us know that they’re on the job. That they’re there.”
The pair said the walk, which started at Coffee Mug Cafe at Meridian Avenue and Sixth Street and lasted about two hours, was meant to do just that in addition to display the partnership between the agencies.
“Today’s an opportunity where we just go out, talk to the business owners, see how we can assist them from a law enforcement perspective, but at the same time show the partnership that we have with the Pasco sheriff’s office and the Dade City” Police Department, Nocco said.
Nocco said previous town hall meetings have been held in Dade City and that the two law enforcement agencies paired together on those endeavors. He said not everyone can make those meetings and Tuesday’s walk through town was meant to reach those folks.
“Our men and women work together every day as partners,” Velboom said. “There’s no turf (issues) here.”
Leslie Manticco, owner of Coffee Mug Cafe, said she has seen the effects of having law enforcement woven into the community.
She said Velboom is a regular in her store, which is just a few blocks from the Dade City Police Department.
“He always asks us if we have any concerns and we can talk to him about it,” Manticco said. “We talk to him about anything, which is nice.”