Police Chief Bryan Norwood discussed the recent violence of a double shooting in Church Hill Wednesday night and additional crime fighting efforts.
Chief Norwood says that shooting does not mean people aren't getting the message to stop the violence. He explained RPD is seeing marked reductions in some of the targeted neighborhoods.
Police officers are frustrated after eleven homicides in September and another added to that less than two weeks into October.
"The entire department is hurting right now because we take it personally," Norwood said. "The detectives are working as hard as they can. The officers, the men and women in the street are protecting as many people and property as we can."
After the death of 18-year-old Rodney Shelton Wednesday night, Chief Norwood explains RPD will be trying something different, even utilizing the newest recruit class in the effort.
"We're going to have some walking beats and we're going to specify that at large probably tomorrow afternoon or over the weekend," Norwood added. "And what you're going to see is officers highly visible, walking in specific neighborhoods, deterring crime, talking to community members and really dealing with things in a very personal way."
Police leaders have said they can't arrest their way out of this because poverty in the city also needs to be tackled. Norwood told us Thursday, the law enforcement aspect of that comes in community policing. While it has many facets, much time is being devoted to a younger population.
The two victims in Wednesday's shooting were in their teens; some of those arrested recently are in that same age group. The chief hopes the Young Adult Police Commissioners inducted at a ceremony Thursday, will be able to reach out peer-to-peer.
"I think they can mirror some of the attributes that these kids have," he maintained. "They are exemplary in so many ways and they want to be a part of the solutions of some of the problems that we're seeing in the city."
Norwood also commented on whether or not additional officers in the VCU area will spread the department thin at a crucial time. He said that collaborative relationship is nothing new in the city.
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