Faith leaders rally for Norwood - NBC12 - Richmond, VA News

Faith leaders rally for Norwood

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Bryan Norwood's future as Richmond's police chief is uncertain, but community faith organizations are coming together with the hope they can convince city leaders to keep him in charge of the department.

Sources tell NBC12 Norwood's days in Richmond are numbered; it's not a matter of if he leaves, but when. Faith leaders aren't accepting that.

Leaders of organizations across the city are presenting a united front.

"I wholeheartedly support Chief Norwood to remain as the chief of the City of Richmond Police Department," proclaimed Butch Johnson of the Northside Outreach Center.

They want him to remain, even after he's been actively job hunting. The news Norwood didn't get the job as Raleigh's new police chief sparked rumors and something else.

"I think they don't know what they're missing down there," Johnson added. "But we see that as a ray of hope of maybe being able to turn this thing around."

In his time here, Police Chief Bryan Norwood created a bond with faith organizations, bringing them out of the churches and into the community. They were able to provide resources and access the men and women in blue can't always deliver.

"A uniform prohibits us from having a certain interaction with people," Norwood said last year. "The faith leaders can bridge that gap and do so in a way that calms the neighborhood."

Now, those leaders are trying to rally the neighborhoods. They're circulating petitions and holding a city-wide gathering a week from Tuesday for one purpose:

"To show the mayor and city hall that we already have the person that we need and if it's not broken, why fix it," Pastor Alex Boyd explained.

The rally is next Tuesday night at Fresh Anointing Cathedral on Second Avenue in North Richmond. It starts at 6:30 p.m.

But with sources saying Norwood's departure is imminent, we asked if these efforts will make a difference.

"I would hope city council and Mayor Jones would take a second look and consider the cry of the people," Rev. Sharon Broaddus told us.

When asked about Norwood not getting the job last week, all the mayor would say is that he has consistently said there are going to be some tweaks in personnel in his second term and he would let us know about them in the very near future.

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