The Boynton Beach Police chief laid out his plans to work with the community speaking before city commissioners Tuesday.
Chief Michael Gregory discussed lessons learned last summer during protests in the city.
Hundreds of people took to the streets last summer seeking justice for George Floyd and to protest police brutality, one of them was the Rev. Rae Whitely from Faith in Florida.
“Boynton Beach understood the emotions and they allowed that space,” Whitely said.
He said he was also part of a march on that started on Gateway Boulevard down to Sara Sims Park and was surprised to see Gregory marching with the group.
“It made me feel that he was upset at what happened with Mr. Floyd, he didn’t agree with what happened, and he understood why we were upset,” Whitely said.
Gregory said his department properly handled the public’s right to free speech. “As long as no laws are being violated, they have the right to express themselves.”
While lessons were learned in 2020 the chief also spoke about the challenges ahead.
Gregory said a Christmas Day shooting at Sara Sims Park shows the help still needed.
He said he’s looking to add staffing to the “real-time crime center” to assist officers responding to incidents.
“I’d like to really look into integrating that as a tool that when we can staff that up with more folks that now when we get a complaint at Sarah sims park, we got sufficient cameras that we can pretty much see and record evidence of that activity and send a patrol car in afterwards,” said Gregory.
Boynton Beach commissioners also discussed the possibility of allocating more funds to the police department to have extra officers throughout the community.