New police chief continues community walk-throughs

Posted at 11:25 PM, Mar 11, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Since the controversial departure of former Police Chief Bryan Norwood, questions have been circulating about what policies and practices of his will remain and which will be changed.

It was clear Monday evening that one principal practice of Norwood’s will remain intact.

"I'm very excited to do it, i think it's a great idea, it gets us all out here," said Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic.

He’s embracing an idea of the man he took over for; community walk-throughs. Monday evening was in the city's North side.

"Meghan, Hi, Ray Tarasovic, pleasure to meet you," he said, as he greeted one community leader.

Norwood started the tradition of a community walk-through at the RPD, canvassing city homes and asking residents what police could do better on their streets.

"What can we do for you?” asked Tarasovic as he went door to door Monday night.

Norwood would almost always be visible on the walk-throughs and made a point to connect with faith leaders along the way. Tarasovic says the tradition is a good one and one the department will continue.

"The future is engaging with the community, you can call it community policing, you can call it community engagement you can call it whatever you chose to call it,” said Tarasovic.

Some RPD command staff says the simple practice which rotates to neighborhoods across the city has proven most helpful in closing cases. They say with trust comes information.

"Getting information on the cases was difficult, was problematic, now the information comes in right away," said fourth precinct Lt. Lewis Mills.

"We're doing ok, things could be better, we're working on it," said Tarasovic to one neighbor.

The chief wasn't yet a recognizable face to many on the walk through but he hopes that won't be the case for long.

"Even though we're in command and in charge, we're still the police," he said.