From Wednesday’s combined 7th District/MPACT meeting

01/30/2015 12:46 PM by

Wednesday’s MPACT/7th District Meeting was a spiritual experience: it took faith to know that MPACT was a part of it at all.

There were 2 different agendas at the ‘sign-in table,’ one calling for the welcome to be given by the MPACT coordinator and one for the welcome to be given by the 7th district councilperson. Several times the councilperson voiced the hope that such future combined meetings could occur and then MPACT wasn’t mentioned again.

Ergo, I hope there are no more combined MPACT/7th district meetings.

One agenda put the ‘Richmond Recycles’ talk number 4; one put it number 2 after the welcomes. The MPACT agenda won out and DPW’s Richmond Recycles presentation came 2nd after the welcomes. Representatives involved in the program gave a brief outline of the grant-funded Recycling Partnership.

“Richmond is on a Roll” began with 6,000 households getting 95-gallon recycling carts for which pick-up will be in the alley with the plan for the rest of the city’s households to get the same carts, alley pick-up only, by the end of 2015. Both reps stressed that when fully implemented, the plan calls for no more curbside recycling pick-ups. However, the ‘Fact Sheet’ handout claims that one of the ‘Benefits’ of this new program is “Trash and recycling collected at the same location (alley/curb).” No one attending last night’s meeting was in an area that got one of the new carts in the test phase that began this month.

The Richmond Police Department’s ‘Community Safety & Crime Report’ was a pep rally with stats, most of which are good. For instance, a few years ago there were approximately 20,000 major crimes in Richmond. In 2014 there were approximately 9800. The national average decrease in major crime is about 20% while that of Richmond is 49% during a time when Richmond’s population is increasing. The chief of police says his job, and I assume by way of extension also the job of RPD, is ‘making less of a bad thing.’

In partial response to questions given to the chief of police prior to the meeting by a Union Hill resident:

Q: Is the department at full strength and if not, what is being done to get it there?

A: Top staffing for RPD is 754. Current staffing is 748, some of whom are currently in an academy class.

Q: In anticipation of the UCI Road World Championships, what plans have been made and provisions established to handle local protests and or terrorist attack(s) such as that in 2013 in Boston?

A: Meeting between protesters and police was underway as the meeting was going on. Plans [regarding terrorism] have been long established but will not be shared, for security reasons. The chief of police said ‘We will be ready. Trust me on that.’

Richmond Fire Department reports the department is placing additional emphasis on engaging the community to help avoid fires through education and interaction, stressing again that department representatives will visit any home, ‘not to cite’ but to assist owners in recognizing ways to improve safety. The offer of free smoke detectors, installed, still stands.

Richmond Ambulance Authority reminded us that they offer free CPA instruction, and that CPR no longer involves mouth-to-mouth. RAA CEO reported that if you need to call 911 for a medical emergency, the dispatcher should connect you to an EMT after getting your call information; and that the EMT will help you handle the emergency until the ambulance arrives – so don’t hang up.

Because RAA periodically gets questions about ambulances sitting, apparently idle, on corners, we are reminded that RAA has no precincts or stations and that the ambulance crews between calls are often positioned, based on data, near where another call is likely to come.



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