(CBS) — Police in southwest suburban Palos Park are rolling out a new, friendly initiative.

Police Chief Joe Miller says his department can’t take credit for the “Stop and Shake” program.

“It actually started in Yonkers, New York,” Miller tells WBBM. “Then we found out about it and we’re pretty much piggybacking off of it.”

The idea is simple: Officers and residents approach one another on the street or at the store, shake hands and introduce themselves. Miller said that connection benefits everyone.

“It makes our job easier in that we can walk up to someone in a non-confrontational way,” Miller said. “They see us walking up, they know us, they know what we’re about and they’re not going to be on guard.”

Miller says the public’s opinion of police is the most negative he’s seen in 30 years in law enforcement, and the Stop and Shake program helps to re-write the narrative.

“It really gets down to the fundamental duty and responsibility that we have to serve the public,” he says. “The best way to do that is to be able to communicate with them.”

Miller is hopeful the program will be implemented to all officers by early spring.