“Walk a Mile in My Shoes” event aims to build relationships between community members and law enforcement

After positive feedback last summer, I Heart Bryan and the Bryan Police Department are bringing back “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” for a second year.
Published: Oct. 29, 2021 at 3:17 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - I Heart Bryan and the Bryan Police Department are hosting “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” for the second time on Saturday, Oct. 30 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bryan Police Department located at 303 E. 29th Street in Bryan.

Participants can sign up for a time slot on the I Heart Bryan events website. On Saturday, those registered for the event will be matched with the officer who signed up for the same time slot. From there, volunteers from Goldstar Barbers will act as a bridge between the pair by initiating conversation and directing them to the path for their one mile walk.

I Heart Bryan CEO and founder Fabi Payton said the goal of the event is communication.

“You get to share how you feel about the relationship between the community and law enforcement,” said Payton. “Maybe there’s something you want to see or you want to express. Our officers are ready for that. They are genuinely here to serve our community and they can’t do that if they don’t have a relationship with our community.”

Payton said she’s hoping for a big turnout, but added that even if only one person shows up, it’s worth it.

“I would like for our whole community to show up. Anyone that has even a little bit of discomfort, anyone who’s never had a relationship with a police officer, come. Come to the event,” said Payton.

Before last summer’s event, she never had a relationship with a law enforcement officer.

“When I met Bryan PD, I came into with biases, with stereotypes, but having those tough conversations changed me.”

She said that’s a big reason why she’s working to help foster these relationships between officers and community members. According to Payton, last year’s event was a big success.

“People wanted to stick around. They didn’t want to have a conversation with just one officer. They wanted to have more conversations.”

She said one participant even told her they were “terrified” to attend, but had a total change of heart by the time the event was over. Payton is hoping for a similar outcome this time around.

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