Mayor calls 9 a.m. news conference to talk future of Richmond Po - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Mayor calls 9 a.m. news conference to talk future of Richmond Police Department


Mayor Dwight Jones is holding a 9 a.m. news conference to talk about his second term and how it relates to the police department.

It's long been speculated the mayor wants Chief Bryan Norwood out and to place his own pick for chief in that job.

Supporters of Chief Norwood filed into City Council Monday, urging leaders to keep Norwood.

"His job performance speaks for itself," said a supporter from the faith community. "We've had a reduction in violent crime each of the four years he has been in office."

Supporters say the chief's decision to team up with faith leaders and focus on Richmond's courts, which have long been seen as the city most dangerous parts of town, is now working.

"Compassion. That's what our police chief has," said a supporter at the meeting. " He has compassion for the community. I wish the mayor and everybody else would think about that."

Domonique and Donell Hargrove decided to use their musical talents to help Chief Norwood reach some of the most violent local neighborhoods.

"My God got super power," sang the 27-year-old twins. "Jesus can do anything. The Alpha and Omega Man."

They have performed those lyrics in places like Richmond's Mosby Court. The twins team with police officers to reach out to the community.

"They say, 'hey in this part of the city the most burglaries took place,'" explained Domonique Hargrove. "'In this part of the city the most murders took place' and us being faith leaders we can go to work."

The faith leaders are armed with a binder of resources including maps with problem areas in the city. They also have a network of more than 100 people who are tied in to email and text messages. The latest message about a murder in the city told members of the network to "RESET." It also provided the address of the crime.

RESET stands for Rapid Engagement of Support in the Event of Trauma.

"It is an army and I believe that Police Chief Norwood is the general," said Donell Hargrove.

An NBC 12 investigation found crime decreased by 24 percent in places like Mosby Court in the first year that police and faith leaders took to the community.

"And then to say that we don't want him anymore," said Councilwoman Reva Trammell about Police Chief Norwood. "That's wrong! We do want him!"

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