RPD gets earful in community walk through - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

RPD gets earful in community walk through

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond Police top brass faced harsh criticism from residents on a crime prevention trip in the Woodhaven neighborhood Monday night.

Police went door to door in the neighborhood Monday night with a strong show of force. The walk-through comes after an increase in crimes like copper theft and robbery in the area. Police walked the streets to tackle crime, but they ended up getting an earful about the new top cop.

Woodhaven resident Henry Bennett used the face-to-face with officers to fire off on the recent change in police chief.

"When you hire somebody that is retirement age," said Bennett about new police chief Ray Tarasovic. "And then you put an article in the paper... see this crap is bad."

Officers tried to keep the focus on the crime statistics. They noted an increase in violent crimes and property crimes in the Woodhaven community.

"You don't fire a man in the public," said Bennett.

"I understand," replied Captain Harvey Powers. "At the end of the day, the Second precinct officers are here to make sure you are taken care of, and you get the right amount of police response no matter who the chief is."

Officers were armed with handouts highlighting crime prevention tips. They encouraged residents to turn on porch lights, don't leave vehicles running with the heater on, and put your junk in the trunk.

"It's wonderful," said resident Munica Allmond. "But they should at least let people know that they are coming."

Allmond says it all had her daughter calling in a panic.

"I don't know what's going on," Allmond recalls her daughter saying. "They went to the front. they went to the side. Please come home, and that's what I did."

Despite the initial concern, most neighbors hope the walk sends a message of strong police presence.

The community walk through is an extension of the old police administration. Police Chief Ray Tarasovic had planned to attend, but he was detained in a budget meeting.

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