Richmond police chief gives strategy for curbing violence - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Richmond police chief gives strategy for curbing violence

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic went one-on-one with the community and their collective concern over a recent spike in violence. Since this past weekend, the city's experienced five shootings, one involving a two-year-old victim. Two others were deadly. Now, Chief Tarasovic is vowing to continue intensifying the battle against senseless crime. However, police need the public's help as well.

Southside neighbors gathered in the Southside Community Service Center with a shared concern- they don't feel safe.

"Where I live at, there's gunshots, and they sound like cannons," said longtime south side resident Carrie Robertson.

Parents are especially disillusioned.

"A bullet has no name on it. So, it affects our youth. They can't even enjoy being playing outside," said parent Shanna Andrews, who fears for her son when he's out in the neighborhood.

"I'm too scared to take my daughter out because I don't know if she's going to get robbed. I don't know if she's going to get shot. So we got to stay in the house," added another mother, Aida Southall.

Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic says he's not standing for the violence. However, Tarasovic reminded the crowd that violent crime in the city has dropped nearly 50 percent over the last decade.

"I have the nervousness of ‘what if?' But I don't have the nervousness of, ‘I'm scared,'" said Tarasovic.

Tarasovic says he's already started a boost in patrols, community meetings with officers and the effort to get guns off the street. "With this change in violent behavior...This change in handgun behavior by the bad guys... We've taken the offensive," declared the chief.

Police officers told the community that they need more of the public's help fighting crime. At last year's Neighborhood Watch Academy, only five people showed up for training.  

"We're just pleading with you all to take an active part. And if you do this now, we'll have a lot less crime," said Sgt. Carol Adams to the packed room.

Richmond police are actively recruiting people for the Neighborhood Watch. Contact your precinct for more information on how to sign up.

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