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R. Montserrat 12/08/2015 at 7:40 PM

I live on Oakwood Avenue. If we don’t pull together as a community and request police presence when we know full well that there is significant drug dealing (and the violence that goes with it) in our otherwise beautiful neighborhood, I’m saddened to say that this is what we get.

katzenjaammer 12/08/2015 at 8:22 PM

Ironically I was enumerating all of the gun incidents that have happened lately just when this hit the news. What the F@$! is going on?? I’ve been here for 10 years and this is not normal. I agree with the poster from Oakwood. I live on Chimbo and have walked to the cemetery and back a hundred times, only to meet a friendly cat or teenaged girls playing their music. This is a quiet and peaceful family neighborhood.

East Ender 12/08/2015 at 8:25 PM

“A lot of street activity on the 1100-1200 block of Oakwood ave.” Absolutely. It’s drug related. Dealers are selling and people are buying. We need to stop ignoring it and actually do something about it. No disrespect John, but I don’t think going to a Ch Central or CHA meeting is going to help. Although Oakwood Ave is a great area, it’s not considered a “showpiece” for Churchill given its distance from Broad and trendy food places.
We need to be more vigilant. If you pay attention, it will become clear who the dealers are and where the stash houses are located. If you see suspicious people and/or activity, call the cops. We need to stop being complacent and letting drug dealers run the streets.

crd 12/08/2015 at 10:06 PM

I live in the 2500 block of East Broad, and actually saw a single cop on foot patrol last week.Thought they were going to do that a year or so ago, glad to see it now, though he had ear buds in and am not sure if he saw anything that he walked past…. I wish Oakwood the absolute best of luck. Maybe you can get a foot patrol cop who actually looks around when he’s walking. I did wave at the foot patrol guy but it too two attempts to get his attention so I am not so sure how effective those guys are….I would strongly suggest that the folks on Oakwood contact Lt. Sayles. Again, best of luck.

Dubois2 12/09/2015 at 7:20 AM

And no disrespect to @crd, but hasn’t Oakwood seen increases in crime consistently over the last few years, unlike Churchill or Churchill North, or Chimborazo? Our issues as a neighborhood are such that informed RPD presence can and does make a huge difference.
Post #8 is absolutely right; it’s no great mystery who is dealing and who is facilitating. Why we would believe that hosting open drug dealing and the violence that comes with it is a benefit to ANYONE, is however, a bit of a mystery.
I also agree that CHA/CH Central meetings are unlikely to actually address the needs of our little neighborhood adequately. I recognize a number of our regular drug dealers and buyers from corners I used to drive past in Churchill proper where the neighborhood has been more effective at saying no.

Might I suggest that someone who has lived in Oakwood for a while (Gordon? R. Montserrat?)call for an informal meetup for concerned neighbors? As a relative newcomer to the area, I wasn’t aware that anyone, with a few exceptions, actually cared.

dontmincewords 12/09/2015 at 8:07 AM

I think being mindful, aware and getting out there is the only solution. I bought a fixer upper on Grace in the early 90s when it was an open drug market with a smattering of trannie hookers. My urban pioneer neighbors and I worked in our front yards. We’d walk our dogs, etc… Just more eyes on the street. When we complained more, the cops rolled through more. It eventually got cleaned up. Awareness is the start. How much risk you want to take after that is up to you.

John Murden Jr. 12/09/2015 at 8:18 AM

@East Ender & @Dubois2 – my suggesting about the meetings was to put y’all in touch with Sector 111 Lt.Sayles, he’s usually at these meetings discussing what’s going on.

If you do organize something, please let me know so I can share it out.

Kathleen Sanders 12/09/2015 at 9:32 AM

The Church Hill Central group has members that live in the Oakwood and Chimborazzo areas and you would be welcome to attend the CHC meetings. CHA is focused on the Libby Hill area. I encourage you to find and attend a neighborhood meeting. Or get together with your neighbors on your own – plan a meeting at someone’s house and ask the police, specifically Lt. Sayles, to participate. I’ve been in your shoes, as have several others commenting here. The repeating recipe to resolve these issues is your participation – watch, call in suspicious activity, walk your neighborhood, sit in your porch, talk to your neighbors, organize. It does work. It just takes time and effort.

Karen Jones 12/09/2015 at 12:04 PM

#13 I am a board member of the CHA. I wish CHC the very best. I believe that the more strong neighborhood associations we have in Church Hill the better for all of us.

But I would like to take exception to your statement that the CHA is focused on the Libby Hill area because we are not. We currently have two board members who do not live in St. John’s historic district – one across from Chimborazzo park and one on Marshal. This is not a fluke, but the norm. In fact we have had two board members that I know of that live in the CHC area. A large part of our membership live north of Broad. Our membership is open to anyone.

The transportation committee has worked on issues all over Church Hill and one of the results have been crosswalks and bike racks all over the area. The membership has written letters of support to the city for residents with zoning issues who live in many parts of Church Hill. We give money to many organizations who’s focus is not Libby Hill. And during the bike race we (with the help of John Murden and many local businesses) put together a handout to promote all the local restaurants. We handed out something like 15,000 of them. We love all of Church Hill.

And so if there is anything we can do to support the folks in Oakwood, please let me know. Our next membership meeting is in January. When the police report is given, I will ask about this myself.

JS 12/09/2015 at 4:08 PM

I’m not sure who’d be comfortable doing it, but remember when Union Hill campaigned via an anonymous Twitter campaign deal with the drug dealers, their customers, and the stash houses? It seems like that account, in cooperation with the police, helped a lot.

Kathleen Sanders 12/09/2015 at 5:59 PM

Karen: My statement about CHA was not meant as a dis. I can only share what I have personally experienced in the 9+ years that I have lived in Chimborazo. I’m glad to hear that CHA is now trying to make some changes! I hope that East Ender and his/her neighbors will attend one of the neighborhood meetings.

East Ender 12/09/2015 at 7:35 PM

Thank you to those in solidarity and support! I appreciate it. Also, where can I find out about when/where CHC and CHA meetings are happening? Do both groups have websites?

chpn 12/09/2015 at 7:44 PM

Both groups meetings get listed on the calendar here and a post beforehand. They each also have a site:

Church Hill Central is at!forum/church-hill-central

Church Hill Association is at

Karen Jones 12/09/2015 at 8:12 PM

May I suggest another meeting that I think would also be good? More people should go to Cynthia Newbill”s district 7 meetings. They move around to different neighborhoods in the district and I think usually start at 6pm which may not be the most convenient for those coming home from work. I have missed the last few, but when I went I thought they were sparsely attended. I think Ms. Newbill needs to see more of her constituents in front of her on a regular basis. I know it can be hard to go to all of them, but take turns with your neighbors, see what all their concerns are and show up and ask hard questions. It is much harder to ignore people when they are right in front of you. Those of you who went to the meeting on Pear St. know that this can be quite effective.

Arrest made in triple shooting | Church Hil People's News 12/10/2015 at 4:31 PM

[…] The Richmond Police has arrested a Richmond man and charged him with a triple shooting that occurred earlier this week. […]

chpn 12/19/2015 at 11:39 AM

Church Hill Central meets Jan.4. There will be someone there from the 1st Precinct, make your concerns heard /2015/12/19/church-hill-central-meets-in-january_47712/

East Ender 12/19/2015 at 6:04 PM

John, thanks for the heads up about the Church Hill Central meeting in January. Much appreciated!

R. Montserrat 12/19/2015 at 6:07 PM

Thank you John. As a resident of Oakwood Avenue, I will be there! Hope to see others from the neighborhood as well.


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