We want to introduce Dennis Pace, our West Asheville and Downtown Community Resource Officer. He moved from Indiana to Asheville in 2016 so his wife could enjoy warmer winters and he could take advantage of the great outdoors. He started with Animal Services Unit then graduated from the Asheville Police Academy in 2018 and was a patrol officer for several years. He was promoted to Senior Police Officer and accepted into the Crisis Negotiation Team where he was trained to effectively communicate with people who are in a crisis situation.

He took the position as the Community Resource Officer for downtown, West Asheville, the River Arts and South French Broad in November 2022. Community Resource Officers are liaisons between the APD and Asheville businesses, non-profits, and neighborhood groups. They attend community forums including our West Asheville Business Association meetings and facilitate special events.

He thinks the biggest challenge the APD faces is staffing because the force is down 40% in recruitment. It is difficult for police to respond effectively to issues when they are moving from call to call and are only able to react to situations instead of having the time to be proactive about crime prevention. They also have to devote a lot of time to training new officers.

One way we can help support our officers is by recognizing the staffing challenges they are dealing with and using Online Reporting for non-emergency incidents and crimes that are not currently in process. You can also print or download a copy of police reports from the website at the Police-to-Citizens (P2C) tool.  They ask that you promptly report all crimes including graffiti tagging and burglaries so that they can keep track of incidences in each neighborhood. All businesses and homeowners should have a trespass letter for their address allowing police to remove vagrants from their property which can be done here Submit a Trespass Letter for Your Property 

We should also take every opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of our West Asheville officers when we see them working hard in our community.

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