MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (May 31, 2014) – While painting a child’s face in uniform, a Muskegon Heights police officer helped to change the feeling of the community.
“What’s really important is that law enforcement’s out here, to show that side that sometimes people forget: that they are human beings, and that they’re really good people, and they’re just here to help,” said D.J. Hilson, Muskegon County Prosecutor.
In their inaugural Annual Community Safety Day, the Muskegon Heights Police Department wanted to bring the city’s first responders to the residents, to move away from meeting officials only in complaint situations.
“You have bad events that happen in the community, but you don’t let that define your community. So lift back up, you brush yourself off, and you bring about positive forces for the community,” said Muskegon Heights Police Chief Lynne Gill.
Organizers said businesses and individuals donated at least $3,000, along with things like bicycles and basketballs to make this event a reality.
“You don’t just hear bad things coming out of Muskegon Heights: this is a wonderful day, a wonderful event,” explained Amy Gerard, Community Safety Day organizer.
It was a day where families of all ages said they could enjoy their city.
“We’re trying to bring a reiteration of structure and stability into the community again, so we can bring some safety to the people, and confidence as well,” said Anthony McDonald, Muskegon Heights City Councilman.