Inside Look: 12 News walks Johnson City beat with Community Engagement Officer

Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 9:42 PM EDT
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JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) -- 12 News caught up with Community Engagement Officer Jay Peets. He invited us to walk his beat with him and catch up on his relationship with the community and its businesses.

Peets told 12 News his primary job as community engagement officer is to work with the businesses and make sure that main street is clear of violations, everyone is happy, considerate to the community, and building relationships.

Business Owner Michael Caruso said he is grateful for Officer Peets to be walking the neighborhood.

“Officer Peets is like a godsend down here,” Caruso told 12 News. " Just his presence alone helps the whole area. He’s a liaison between us business owners, customers and local people that live here. If there are any problems we can go to him”

Peets told 12 News each day he will walk or bike up and down Main Street for most of the day and speak to the business owners and staff that operate on his beat. He said he tries to make sure their day is going well and if they have any questions or problems he does his best to solve them.

He told 12 News his presence makes the community and businesses more comfortable and happier.

“I get a lot of happy faces when I come in and see the owners or the staff,” he told 12 News. “It creates a feeling of relief that there’s an officer watching the community and keeping them safe”

He said despite being out in the public rather it be walking or biking he does not fear going up and down his beat. He is excited about the connections he makes.

“My job is to make friends and communicate,” Peets told 12 News. “It’s easy to walk up to somebody and say hello. Usually, people are very happy to see me. I don’t have any fear walking up and down Main Street at all”

Peets said there are a couple of events he will be attending in near the future. These include Coffee With A Cop, a backpack giveaway, village meetings, and the Youth Police Initiative which will start in October.