Getting together with Chief Dan in Cambridge

MD-Getting together with Chief Dan

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper
Chief Daniel Dvorak called a series of informal town meetings in Cambridge this Saturday to reach out to the community and introduce their new MyPD phone app.

CAMBRIDGE — Cambridge Police Chief Daniel Dvorak called a series of informal town meetings this past Saturday, starting with a Breakfast with Chief Dan get-together at the Dorchester County Family YMCA on Talbot Avenue, followed with a lunch meeting at the Elks Club on Pine Street, and an afternoon wrap-up at the Public Safety Building.

“This is one more of a series of community events,” Chief Dan told us. “I’ve already met with a couple of neighborhood groups, business owners, Main Street Cambridge, and we advertised this as a sort of larger function. We’re meeting here at 9 a.m., then going to the Elks Club for lunch at noon, and then we’re also at the police department at 3 p.m. We’re just trying to touch as many people as we can on a Saturday.

“The object today is just to introduce myself, tell everyone what I’ve done so far in the police department, what my plans are, and really just to stress the importance of community — taking care of one another, and looking at the schemes we have to work on these problems we have — the unemployment, the drugs, poverty, kids being hungry. Once we can all work together we’ll be much more effective.”

“Chief Dan” has been busy since his swearing in, meeting people and visiting neighborhoods and businesses. We asked him about how it was going with his new job.

“Fantastic, everyone has been great,” he told us. “You know, there’s a million different projects you can do in law enforcement, and I might try a couple dozen, maybe a dozen will work. But what’s interesting is that I come in here with my ideas, then everybody else has an idea. For example, the business owners that I talked to all said they’d like to see our officers stop into their business locations more often. So I’m starting a crime prevention program that’s actually going to have a small business unit. We’re going to try to make small businesses safer, work on preventing crime and getting a little more face-to-face contact with our local businesses.

“That was a product of meeting with the business owners, thinking about it, and then I went to a conference last week that was for new chiefs and sheriffs in the state, and somebody mentioned that program, so we developed the idea and we’re going to try it.”
All the buzz these days is about social media — Facebook, Twitter and other online programs, but Chief Dan has been finding the local limitations of social media, and has a new scheme he’s introducing to combat the lack of communication.

“The modes of communication I’m developing are based on every time I talk to somebody and learn, ‘Well, we’re not on social media, so how can we get information about the police department,’ or, ‘I’m not on Twitter,’ or ‘I don’t have internet access.’ So between the newspaper, and working with local radio stations to do some radio spots, as well as my presence on social media; we now have our brand new app for smartphones.

“The app is called ‘MyPD.’ You can download it to your smartphone (Apple or Android), select through the options to Law Enforcement-Maryland, and you’ll see the Cambridge Police Department there, and by selecting that you’ll be following us, so every time I put something on Twitter it will automatically come up on the app. So you don’t have to be connected to social media to stay connected with the police department.

“You can text us anonymously, you can send feedback about an officer, you can go on your phone and send a message and it comes directly to me. So it’s a great way to communicate with the public and also a great way for me to get some comments.”

Our new police chief is definitely focused on communication, and his message at each one of his stops Saturday was plain: “If I don’t know what’s wrong, I can’t really fix anything. But I also want to know what’s right, so that we can keep doing it. I’m hoping the new MyPD app will be one more element working to connect me with people, and keeping us in touch with the community.”

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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