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Richmond Police Department applauds crime reduction in city’s southside

Recent violence is taking a toll on many people including the police officers who respond to the calls and try to keep communities safe in the Greater Richmond
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Recent violence is taking a toll on many people, including the police officers who respond to the calls and try to keep communities safe in the Greater Richmond area. There is some encouraging news amidst all of the discouraging headlines.

City leaders paused Tuesday to recognize officers in the southside, where crime rates are drastically declining. In fact, it saw the most significant drop in major crime than any other precinct.

At the 2nd Precinct in Richmond’s southside, officers have been plenty busy, facing every situation imaginable, all while short-staffed and putting in overtime. A 13% dip in major crime may not sound big, but this serves as a driving force and motivator for officers to hang in there and keep working to build a better Richmond.

“We leave home basically every day not knowing if you’re going to come back home,” RPD 2nd precinct officer Michael McKinnon said.

Officers like McKinnon were honored Tuesday for going beyond the call.

“When they do hard work like this, facing the odds that they face, it means a lot,” RPD Chief Gerald Smith said.

Smith and other city leaders presented the second precinct with the Crime Reduction Award flag. That’s because 2nd precinct had the biggest reduction in crime out of all four precincts in the city.

“It’s good to reward them, and I know they really don’t expect accolades because when they signed up for this job, they just wanted to make a difference,” 2nd precinct Capt. KeShawn Manns said.

Last year, the second precinct saw a 13% reduction in major crimes, a 6% drop in violent crimes, and a 15% dip in property crimes. There’s more to these statistics.

“Behind every number, there is a victim, behind every number, there’s a story, and there’s a family, especially when it comes down to violent crime.” Chief Smith said. “When you have a reduction, you celebrate those who actually did the work, and that’s what we’re here to recognize.”

“No police officer does the job for a reward, and you don’t want to be looked at as a hero...but it looks good to know that our precinct finally is ahead of everybody else,” he said. “We always compete against each other, so it feels good to know that all the work we did and all my hundreds of hours of overtime actually paid off towards something.”

Officers like McKinnon say they give credit to the southside community for working with police and building relationships so that these neighborhoods can all take a step in the right direction.

“We always focus on other people. I rarely think about myself, my own safety,” McKinnon said.

This crime reduction flag will be on display outside the 2nd precinct for the rest of the year aa=nd serves as a reminder that efforts to serve and protect the community remain a top priority.

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