Chief Bryan Norwood nears two years on job

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

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – The Richmond police has received an elite international honor. Being internationally accredited means Richmond police policies and procedures are among the best in the country.

The chief is certainly proud about the department's honor from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, also called CALEA. But he's also three months away from his two year anniversary.

"It feels like yesterday. It's been a great two years," said Norwood.

He says Richmond is a lot smaller than he thought it was when he first stepped in as chief.

"A lot of people know each other and that's a good thing. The communities are very tight knit and the community works well with this police department," added Norwood.

He admits there are things he and his department could do better.

"There's room improvement. We can continue to increase our transparency and our communication to make this number one," he said.

But he says also believes there's a lot his department already does right. He cites the recent audit on how his agency spends money.

"I think overwhelmingly we faired very, very well in that audit. Some of our practices are trying to be implemented in other parts of the country," Norwood noted.

Prior to this morning's killing, the murder rate sat at 25...down from 30 this time last year.

"We're solving a lot of these crimes, because of our great detective work and because of this community. People are being involved in the solution process," said Norwood.

Norwood has never been a fan of keeping a murder count, but he admittedly appreciates the murder clearance rate. As of now, 75% have been solved. That's up from 67% this time last year.

He credits community policing," it means that every single person in the greater Richmond metro Richmond area is a part of the solution. So, there may be 220 some thousand people out there, if we can garner that support we can make this city one of the safest cities on the East Coast."

High speed chase:

Bryan Norwood says the death of a beloved local pastor after a Henrico police chase pained not only the community, but also his department.

"It's a sad event and a tragedy that I think affects everyone. You never want to see a loss of life on any level," he said.

Norwood says that terrible moment has led to significant changes in the way Richmond police communicates with other agencies.

"What people need to know is we are consistently reevaluating our procedures. And measuring up against best practices from around the country and as we learn about these best practices. We're trying to implement them here as well," added Norwood.

He says his department is constantly adapting to the needs in the city.

Shockoe Bottom and teen parties:

After escalating violence in Shockoe Bottom and along Broad Street at teen parties he increased the number of officers on the streets. Norwood says, "To make sure people understand when they come to the city. We want them to have fun. But also be careful and be respectful of the area."

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