New Ferguson police chief lends helping hand in cleanup effort

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FERGUSON, MO (KTVI) – Less than two weeks before the first anniversary of Michael Brown’s shooting death, hundreds of volunteers turned out on the streets of Ferguson for an organized community cleanup, including the man charged with bridging the gap between some residents and police.

Ferguson Interim Police Chief Andre Anderson’s first big challenge will be helping his department and the city navigate the first anniversary of Brown’s death.

“I’m concerned, but I know we have some great people here that will work together for peace. And that’s what we’re looking for,” Anderson said. “And I’ve been told by a number of people that that’s what they want. That’s what I want, and I’m sure we can make that happen.”

Anderson began to learn his way around the city by taking a ride around town incognito.

“And people did not know who I was, and I asked them some straight questions about the police department, and I asked them questions about the community, the leadership, and the citizens of Ferguson were very positive,” he said.

“But there also were some citizens that were concerned, and I listened to those concerns, and we’re gonna have to address those concerns as well.”

A small army of volunteers looking to help clean up were certainly helping the mood Monday. About 300 showed up to pick up litter, and generally spruce up sections of West Florissant Avenue that resembled a war zone last fall. As for that anniversary, many here are say all this is reason for optimism.

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