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WHERE POLICE HAVE OPEN-DOOR POLICY

Community centers invite residents to stop by, pick up freebies and get information.

The St. Petersburg Police Department operates four Community Resource Centers, places where residents and officers can stay in touch.

"It's one way for us to interact at a neutral site," said police Chief Charles Harmon. "I think the community finds them very valuable, and so do we."

The Tangerine Community Center, at 18th Avenue S and 22nd Street, is the only one of the four that has a full-time police officer on duty.

"People come and go grocery shopping, and they might stop by with problem that becomes a police matter," said Marlin Heyward, the officer stationed at Tangerine.

But not everyone knows about the centers.

"People come in all the time and say, 'We didn't know you were here,' " said Betty Allen, manager at Skyway Community Resource Center, which was the first one to open, in 1992.

Volunteers at the centers can give out antitheft devices for cars that are prone to theft, register bicycles and distribute cell phones to seniors so they can dial 911 in an emergency.

They also offer information about the city's different services. Some neighborhood associations also meet at the centers.

Nicole Bardo-Colon can be reached at 893-8779 or nbardo-colon@sptimes.com.

FAST FACTS

The centers

Bartlett Park Community Resource Center

642 22nd Ave S

St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Phone: 826-9774

Maximo Community Resource Center

4815 34th St. S

St. Petersburg, FL 33711

Phone: 866-7177

Skyway Community Resource Center

1065 62nd Ave. S

St. Petersburg, FL 33705

Phone: 864-3116

Tangerine Community Resource Center

1786 22nd St. S

St. Petersburg, FL 33712

Phone: 895-6562

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