About 30 people turned out for the 7th District Meeting hosted by Betty Squire at the Holy Rosary Catholic Church this morning. Speakers included Police Chief Bryon Norwood, Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring, Colonel William Barnett of the Richmond Sheriff’s Department, and Fire Chief Robert Creasy. Video and overview inside…
RIchmond Police Chief Bryon Norwood
Richmond Police Chief Bryon Norwood gave an introduction to ongoing community-based policing, seeing a continuation and extension of what has been seen as a very successful approach so far. He gave props to Stop the Pain, a project and documentary aimed at making positive changes in Richmond, coming to the Byrd Theater in the summer. The Richmond Police are working to raise the officers awareness of the behaviors of the mentally ill and what constitutes a proper response. A new initiative, Project Reset, helps neighborhoods come back to normal after a shocking event (such as the recent Union Hill shooting).
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring
Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Herring spoke about the approach of his office and the law, and lauds the close working relationship between the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and the Richmond Police Department.
Colonel William Barnett of the Richmond Sheriff’s Department
Colonel William Barnett, representing the Richmond Sheriff’s Department, spoke on the outlook and achievments of the Sheriff’s Department over the poast 4 years. Working on the premise that the department’s goal is “to make better citizens instead of better criminals”, the department has reached out to faith-based groups and emphasized education opportunities for the inmates (tripled the number of inmates pursuing GEDs). The jail is a 60-year-old facility, the department thanks the Mayor for the recent funds povided for renovation. There has been a 60% reduction in contraband coming into the jail, 80% reduction in assualts. After the prepared remarks, Barnett takes questions (at about the 11:00 minute mark), and there is an interesting back and forth on the viability of inmate labor being used to wash department cars and inmated being held to pay daily fee for their incarceration.
Richmond Fire Chief Robert Creasy
Fire Chief Robert Creasy – The Richmond Fire Department handles 28,000 calls for service per year (with less than 500 personnel), 20 fire stations throughout the city, 150th year as a paid fire department, the 6th oldest in the country. The RFD is set up under the “village fire department” model, the folks at the station are encouraged to think of themselves as being responsible for the safety needs of the community around them. The RFD has strong connections to other agencies in the city and region. Call (804)646-1526 to get a free smoke detector installed by the fire department. (“We do not want any Richmonders going to sleep without a working smoke detectorr.”)
VIDEO COMING SOON
Lt.Martin Harrison of Sector 113 in the First Precinct
Lt.Martin Harrison of Sector 113 in the First Precinct was up next. Crime is trending down, with some outliers. This year so far the First Precinct has seen a 9% decrease in violent crime and a 1% increase in property crime. Robbery of individuals are an issue.
- Handicapped sidewalk access along Venable Street?
- Questions about how a funeral procession was handled…
- Police travel at high speed down Marshall Street without lights/siren. WTF?
In the audience representatives from the Unity Civic League, Church Hill Association, New Visions Civic League, Union Hill Civic Association, and the Greater Fulton Hill Civic Association.
Check out Silver Persinger’s Richmond City Council Reporter & Telegraph for another video capture from today’s meeting.