Bedford Police Department begins 2017 with new leaders, new goals

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BEDFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) There's a new face in the Lieutenant's office at the Bedford Police Department.

Duane Jones joined the force in December with years of law enforcement experience in Roanoke.

"I wanted to bring my experience and my knowledge from Roanoke and everything I've dealt with there to the Bedford area, to benefit the police department and the younger officers here," said Jones, who is helping Bedford Police expand what many departments call "community policing."

"We're already involved in that, but we want to be more involved," Jones said.

In 2017 the department is unveiling a new motto: "We choose character over compromise."

"We want to build trust and respect in the community, and we want to respect and trust our community also," said Todd Foreman, chief of the Bedford Police Department.

One way they're trying to build trust is by giving the public more information. The department is now publishing information online about incidents where its officers have used force. It's part of a "Police Data Initiative" overseen by The White House.

"We want to be a transparent agency," Foreman explained. "We want people to know what we're doing and the kind of calls we're responding to.

"We have nothing to hide," said Jones. "We're doing everything we can to provide good, effective community policing to the community of Bedford."

You can learn more about the police department's initiatives at a "Community Awareness Meeting" the organization is holding Thursday night at 6:30 in Bedford Town Council chambers.

Police say they're interested in feedback. They want people who show up for Thursday's meeting to bring ideas and ways the department can better serve the town of Bedford.