SAN DIEGO — San Diego Police and Councilmember Chris Cate kicked off a series of safety walks in Mira Mesa Wednesday, amid a surge in crime and violence in the area.

The walk took place inside the Village at Mira Mesa shopping center where police officers and community leaders walked store to store interacting with dozens of businesses and residents.

“For me it’s really about community policing, it’s about being a public servant,” Chief David Nisleit said.

Councilmember Cate, who represents the area, was also there to build connections.

“Let them know what resources are available, how do you report crimes, how to give us tips, anything that we can do to try to keep our neighborhood safe,” Cate said.

At a time when crime is on the rise across the region, the goal was to connect the community with not just their local leaders and law enforcement, but also resource groups.

“To increase the awareness that there is help out there. You do not need to be alone when you are facing domestic violence. We are here for you,” said Jamilah Granza with ICNA Relief.

San Diego police hosted several similar walks in 2021, focusing on victims of hate crime and areas with higher reports of violence, but the work continues.

“Hate crimes are still a major concern in the city and we want to address that,” Nisleit said. “But this is also about our ability to get out and meet new friends to address concerns, whether it be about homeless issues, car break-ins, theft, drugs, whatever it happens to be.”

The safety walks will continue through May and June. Upcoming communities include Hillcrest and Gaslamp.