Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo hosts community ice cream social with local officers

HOUSTON-- It was a meet and greet to get the scoop.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and several other officers connected with the community over ice cream.

Martha Prado brought her kids to ABC Dental in North Houston for a chance to meet the officers and snap a quick picture with the men and women who serve and protect her family every day.

"I see they are very nice people. I want to tell other people, don't be afraid, don't be scared of the police. They are good people to save our lives and to have more security," Prado said.

Chief Acevedo said it's events like this that help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the people.

"Any time we have an opportunity as a police department to have these social events where we have outside of the 911 call loop when people aren't at the best. Come out and actually meet with the community, engage with the community, whether it's ice cream socials, or milk and cookies, or coffee, it's important to build relationships with trust, respect and being engaged and that's what we're here doing today," Acevedo said.

Acevedo believes improved relationships between the community and the police department help make neighborhoods safer.

In fact, the city's murder rate so far in 2017 is down significantly compared to year's past.

"We're down almost 21 percent year-to-date, that equates to 36 Houstonians, 36 fewer families that have had to deal with the emotional trauma of losing a loved one," Acevedo said.

More ice cream socials with police are sure to make H-town an even sweeter place to live.