RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Richmond’s top cop has a new group to help guide him through the murky waters of policy reform. Chief Gerald Smith an external advisory committee is the fresh set of eyes he needs.
The committee will first look at the department’s chemical ammunition policy. The controversial policy came into the spotlight this summer, after repeated instances of police using those types of tactics on protesters in Richmond.
The group of 15 will focus on three main areas. Smith says the overall committee is broken down into smaller groups to tackle the issues of community involvement, recruitment and transparency.
The chief labeled the group as established city residents who actually want to make things better. They’ve met twice so far, and will meet monthly from here on out.
“They also offer some very unique perspectives on why do you do it that way? It doesn’t make any sense. They haven’t had any training or understanding but it gives us an opportunity to go, you know, in this policy we need to explain certain things in a different way,” said Chief Smith.
Smith says this is also an opportunity for the police to learn about neighborhood complaints, concerns, ideas and crime trends evolving in the community.
But, police aren’t telling us who is on the committee at the moment. That’s because members tell the chief they are concerned about becoming targets for helping law enforcement. The chief says they hope to change that.
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