The debate over a Shots Fired Map sent out by Evansville Police sparked interest between Evansville's police chief and a church pastor.
Reverend Adrian Brooks and Billy Bolin exchanged some public emails after the map was released and after seeing those emails, those who don't understand their working relationship may have thought the two held some animosity for each other, but in speaking to both of them Sunday afternoon in Brooks' office, 14 News learned nothing could be further from the truth.
"He can speak his mind to me, and I can speak mine to him," says Bolin.
"We have an honest, objective relationship,' Brooks explains.
Last week, the Evansville Police Department released a map showing the majority of shots fired in the past four months. Most of those have been south of the Lloyd and west of Highway 41.
"I was like, 'please not a map,' because those areas are areas where we're trying to develop," says Brooks. "We don't want people to think that it's so troubled, that they wouldn't want to move in those houses that we're developing."
"From our end, it wasn't to make anybody look bad," says Bolin. "It was just to justify the actions we were taking."
Bolin and Brooks had what appeared to be a heated email exchange over the merits of the map. Brooks felt the map hurt the image of Evansville's developing south side. While Bolin said the map is necessary to understand where police resources are most needed.
"This is a great place to live," says Brooks. "Sometimes in my desire to promote it, anything negative that comes out, I feel like I have to refute it. Even if the person who puts it out has a totally different approach, different reason for putting it out. It just differed on that."
Reverend Brooks agrees with Bolin, that this data is necessary for keeping this problem from becoming an obstacle, but at the same time, he would like to promote the new homes and new families here that are helping to improve these neighborhoods.
"We do have a safe city," says Bolin. "We have a city in comparable size, that's pretty low on crime. We don't have a real dangerous city, but we want to be aggressive on these things, because we don't want to turn into one of those cities."
Both Bolin and Brooks say they have a great working relationship to the point that they consider each other friends and that there has never been any animosity between them.
"I think the community will benefit in the end, because we can be so honest with each other," says Bolin.
"We hold that right between the two of us, to disagree. We know that's going to happen, but we can still go break bread," says Brooks.
Bolin and Brooks say this isn't the first time they've had disagreements and that they are often brutally honest with each other. The only difference this time, they say, is that it happened out in the open.
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