City police patrolmen will be walking and talking with residents a lot in the coming months.
Starting last week, walking and talking with residents was restarted as part of the city police routine.
On each shift, patrol officers are required to walk for a minimum of 30 minutes around the city to meet with neighbors and listen to them.
The program doesn't make as much sense in the winter, when fewer people are outside.
But it makes a lot of sense right now and allows Williamsport residents to get to know policemen as more than drivers of patrol cars. That familiarity can help prevent crimes and, just as vitally, can make a big difference when there is a crime.
Residents are more apt to cooperate and help policemen they know personally.
The walk and talk patrols follow a number of recent incidents of violence.
Will it stop the next act of violence from occurring?
There's no guarantee of that.
Will it reduce crime in the city? There's no guarantee of that.
But these patrols can't hurt.
And if they stop one act of crime from happening, that's a dividend.
Police need the public's cooperation to do their job to the maximum.
Walking and talking with residents is a good place to start.