Alton's new police chief has big plans to reach out to the community. Jake Simmons (pictured) believes that by engaging citizens and showing them some of the daily activities officers go through, it will make for a safer and more welcoming city. One of the programs he is instituting is the ride-along program, saying it is a real eye-opener for people who may have never considered how busy the department can be.
Simmons says he hopes ot "build bridges" in the community.
He says the Citizen's Police Academy will be coming back, and is looking forward to engaging the public. By creating a dialogue and a trust with the people of Alton, he hopes that will lead to more communication when investigating some crimes that in the past may have been met with limited cooperation.