Norwood reflects on his first year on the job

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA. (WWBT) - Next week will be one year on the job for Richmond's top cop. Bryan Norwood took the reins of the Richmond police department on Election Day 2008. Today he met with local members of the media at the Richmond Police Training Academy.

He says he's glad he came to the River City, he's proud of his first year and he's got big plans for many years to come.

Rachel DePompa: "Is there some area you really are looking at targeting?"

Bryan Norwood: "Well in each neighborhood that's the beauty of community policing. Each neighborhood has its own requests and its own issues, so I won't say there's one particular area of part of the city that we're going to focus on."

Chief Bryan Norwood usually shies away from the media spotlight, but he makes sure to be seen in his neighborhoods.

"He moved into Barton Heights which is a restored community. He actually gets out and jogs on the street," said Ellen Robertson, City Council Vice President.

Robertson says the continuation and improvement of community policing was his best decision.

"One of the things that he does exceptionally well is the personal public relations to the door step knocking on citizens doors," said Robertson.

Norwood says increasing his offices' accountability, trust and professionalism in the neighborhoods will cut down on crime on the streets. The murder rate in the city is slightly higher than last year's thirty year low, but Norwood says that's not a number he stresses over.

"I think the murder rate is just one piece to the puzzle. I think it's a large piece puzzle obviously, but I don't want anyone to judge the city by that particular statistic," said Chief Norwood.

In fact, overall crime in the city is still down and Norwood believes that's the number to spotlight, especially in a recession and bad economy, when crime usually spikes. A low crime rate isn't all he's touting. He says look for more changes in the new year.

"There are a couple things but I'm going to keep them secret for the new year. We have a couple things on tap that I think everybody will be very pleased with," he said.

Norwood did reveal a martial arts program is on his list for next year. What exactly that entails, he did not reveal today.

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