The officers assigned to the Walk & Talk unit, within the Community Service Division, are the main liaisons between Brookline Housing Authority (BHA) Administrators, personnel, and residents, and the police department. The goals of the Walk & Talk program are to make the officers approachable to the residents and vice versa, help them become familiar with the dynamics of housing life and to identify any residents in need of assistance. Through a combination of foot patrol, bike patrol, motorized patrol and attendance at community meetings/events these officers are highly visible to the residents.
In many situations, the officers get to know the residents on a first name basis developing a level of comfort that will result in BHA residents becoming more trusting of the police. We find they are more apt to speak with the Walk & Talk officers, let them know of potentially developing problems and report crimes. The officers are also informed by the residents about the community building people and happenings taking place within the properties.
These officers spend a large amount of time interacting with juveniles throughout the town. They keep informed about these juveniles through weekly meetings such as the roundtable at Brookline High School, through coaching of youth teams and collaborative efforts with the juvenile probation department. Through these interactions the officers, again, get to know the youths by their first names and are thereby known and familiar to the youths. These interactions enable the officers to develop positive relationships with the youths or to identify those youths that need early intervention strategies. These types of relationships enable the officers to better connect a youth in crisis with needed resources.
The Walk and Talk Unit responds to calls at the following Brookline Housing Authority properties: Egmont Street Veterans, Trustman Apartments, High Street Veterans, Walnut Street Apartments, Kickham Apartments, Sussman House, Colonel Floyd Apartments, 61 Park Street and 90 Longwood Avenue. As fully fledged police officers they may also respond to emergencies anywhere in the Town of Brookline to assist patrol units when necessary.
Finally, these officers are also responsible for the investigation and documentation of graffiti crimes, and then ultimately the coordination of the removal of graffiti from both public and private property.
For a more in depth look at what this unit does click here.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a Walk and Talk Officer, please call or email them.
Officer Tim Stephenson
Officer Kristin Healy
Officer David Pilgrim