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Local woman, Bryan Police team up to host “Walk A Mile In My Shoes” community event

On September 19, Bryan police officers will be paired with community members while walking some laps around the police department.
Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 11:09 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - “I kind of had a Baptist church alter call moment,” said Fabi Payton. The Bryan woman admits answering the call has taken her out of her comfort zone. But she says it’s worth it to help unite the community when there’s been so much unrest across the country.

Payton has teamed up with Bryan Police for an event called “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” On September 19, Bryan police officers will be paired with community members while walking some laps around the police department.

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“Just to give some people an opportunity to talk to each other, maybe learn a little more about each other,” said Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske.

Payton says the idea came to her during a community forum this summer.

“I went in, I’ll be honest, with bias. There was a lot going on nationally. But I knew better,” said Payton.

She says she opened her ears and her heart as local law enforcement leaders talked policing and race relations.

“What I heard was people who are really trying to do things and weren’t really getting to where they wanted to as far as community engagement,” said Payton.

That night, she approached Chief Buske with the idea. They’ve been working on the logistics for months. Officers will volunteer to walk and talk with community members that day. Buske says he’s proud, but not surprised, by the positive response from his officers.

“We can’t effectively police if we don’t have a relationship with the community we serve,” said Buske. “We’ve always worked on that. This is a little more of an overt attempt and we’re excited about it.”

There will be COVID-19 guidelines in place like social distancing and mask-wearing. That’s why space is limited. People interested in attending are urged to register as soon as possible. You can do so by emailing your name, phone number and shoe size to iheartbryanevents@gmail.com

There will be some shoe-swapping for people who want to participate in that, but it is voluntary. You do not need to swap shoes to join the event.

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