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Message from Chief of Police
Community safety is everyone’s responsibility and not just a job for police. It’s a concept whose origins can be traced back to the Peelian principles of 1829 – the foundation upon which all American police forces are based – and some are perpetuated in the President’s Report on 21st Century Policing.
The term “Community policing” points to these concepts in the modern context. It is a philosophy for how police and communities should work together to address crime and disorder. It’s not a program, project or special unit. It is a mindset that, when executed correctly affects the thinking of every police employee, and gets infused into every police function.
Crime prevention, reduction and community safety is our top priority. The old adage is true. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Preventing crime starts with you. Connecting to your active Neighbor Watch Group, or Neighborhood Council are ways to become more knowledgeable about how you can learn to look out for yourself and others. Get to know your beat officers, how to connect with them, and how to the access a range of police and other City services.
Accountability is a top priority. We’ve built a neighborhood-based policing model that aims to keep the same officers attached to the same neighborhoods so that they really get to know the character of their neighborhoods, understand the problems from a community perspective, and build and strengthen relationships with residents and merchants that enable priority setting and problem-solving.
We’ve divided our city into three geographical areas called districts – Northern, Central and Southern. Each is headed by a police captain who is responsible for knowing what crime is doing in his or her area of responsibility, for setting priorities and for allocating resources accordingly.
The interplay among the best of modern practices tailored to fit our local needs, technology tools and a Compstat process, which tracks crime and guides managers’ decisions around the deployment of limited resources, are key components within the mix of elements that drive our effectiveness.
Richmond is a majority minority community – and the composition of the police force is majority minority – 60% minority. Our policing system is built for agility, to allow for needed adjustments as we go, so that we are positioned to deliver the best possible service to the community. Our approach borrows the best of modern policing practices and aims to blend an inclusive workforce, technology tools and enablers, and strong community partnerships to advance public safety.
Diversity refers to how people are different, while inclusion is about valuing everyone equally, and putting to use the talents of all members of the group to increase the potential of the collective. Diversity is respect for personal characteristics as race/ethnicity, gender, age sexual affinity, gender identity or expression, as well as individual qualities, talents, perspectives, background and experiences. Inclusion recognizes the importance of bringing together individuals and their different perspectives into various workplace processes. Diversity and Inclusion are among our core values.
The nobility in policing is achieved when officer actions are centered on service, justice and fundamental fairness. What police do matters. The actions of any officer can, in an instant impact others for a lifetime, and even a community for generations. Our officers are expected to constantly balance the readiness and tactical skill required of an emergency responder, with the guardianship and problem-solving resolve of a community caretaker.
Thank you for taking the time to explore the Richmond Police Department and to learn more about us. I also welcome your feedback on how our employees are delivering service and interacting with others.
Chief of Police