Feature photo: Daljid Singh, owner of Maharaja Indian Cuisine in Easland Plaza on Wilson Way, speaks with Stockton Police Chief Stan McFadden. (ROBYN JONES/CONTRIBUTOR)

Stockton Police Chief Stan McFadden was briskly making his way through his scheduled community walk at Eastland Plaza on Wilson Way when he was called up to take a quick detour.

LaTonya Thompson noticed the large group of officers and police personnel and asked “is that the chief? I want to meet him.” So McFadden headed over to chat for a while with Thompson and hear her concerns before moving on with his tour.

McFadden was sworn in as chief on June 2 and soon after that said that he planned to do these community walks to get to know the citizens of Stockton and their concerns.

Left to right: Stoxkton Police Chief Stan McFadden, Deputy Police Chief Antonio Sajor and Public Information Officer Joe Silva walk around Eastland Plaza (ROBYN JONES/CONTRIBUTOR)

“It’s important that they know we are here and know that we care,” McFadden said. “We want to hear what’s important to them. We’re meeting them where they are at, and they want to have these conversations.”

Thompson, 55, said she was “shocked” she had a chance to have an impromptu conversation with the new police chief.

“They usually don’t stop. I appreciated that he stopped,” Thompson said. “It was very nice to meet him. We talked and he listened.”

Police Chief Stan McFadden speaks with LaTonya Thompson during his community walk at Eastland Plaza in Stockton. (SCOTT LINESBURGH/STOCKTONIA)

McFadden and his entourage, which included deputy chiefs Kathryn Nance and Antonio Sajor, stopped at eight businesses in the shopping center. He visited Maharaja Indian Cuisine and spoke with owner Daljid Singh.

“We talked about this area and what’s going on around here,” Singh said.

McFadden said he the two concerns he heard were about homelessness and theft, but that several business owners said the area had improved, and that they sympathized with the homeless population.

Store manager Joshua Williford chats with Stockton Police Chief Stan McFadden at the Dollar Tree store in Eastland Plaza. (ROBYN JONES/CONTRIBUTOR)

“These are empathetic owners,” McFadden said. “Some said they go out and feed (the homeless) and give them ice water when they come into their establishment. These are people who care about the community and care about those who don’t have a home, and they’ve done their part to reach out to them.”

This was the second community walk since his swearing in, and he said he plans to do two walks per month,

“We’ll be out somewhere, and it’s going to be on a loop,’” McFadden said. “It’s not a one-stop thing. We’re making those loops around so I’m seen at the same place.”

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