TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Savannah Mathis was out driving with her little sister in December 2021 when she was shot and killed.

“I just felt like TPD should have been on every street if they could have,” said Lamaria Smith. “My daughter would still be here.”

Smith is Mathis’s mother. She wishes more police were patrolling some of the most violent neighborhoods.

“Just because you’re an officer don’t mean sitting in the car, waiting on the call. Get out,” Smith said. “You never know what’s a criminal might have on his mind, but he might think twice if he see that cop standing on that corner.”

More than a year after her daughter’s death, Smith pushes the Tampa Police Department to do better.

“TPD, they’re doing the best they can,” Smith said. “I keep enforcing more cameras, more cameras. Thank God the cameras, that’s what caught my daughter’s death.”

Smith and a few more than a dozen citizens went to tonight’s violent crime forum. Though it appeared like cops outnumbered neighbors two to one, people had a lot to say.

Interim Chief Lee Bercaw engaged with the community too.

“Actually, on recent cases, we’ve had more community involvement in our crime,” Bercaw said. “That’s led us to solving crimes more quickly.”

This was the case for the two officers that were shot at in January.

“What led us to that case was a community member providing us tips that led us to not only recovering the gun,” Bercaw recounted. “But making the arrest that night, within hours of it happening.”

But Smith wants communication with police to be a two-way street.

“I appreciate the events they doing,” Smith said. “But literally hear what we’re saying, take it in, and you know, just make better moves and show that it’s getting better.”