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Local Police Chiefs speak out after Dallas police shootings

Posted at 7:42 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 19:43:49-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- One day after deadly gunfire erupted during a Dallas protest, killing five police officers and injuring seven more, local police chiefs are speaking out.

The police-targeted shooting has effected thousands across the nation, especially those in the law enforcement community.

Chesterfield County Police Chief Thierry Dupuis said it is shocking to see the type of violence against police officers across the county.

"We all recognize that these dangers do exist…. Unfortunately those dangers are real," he said.

Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman

Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman

Ashland Police Chief Doug Goodman described the disturbing images from out of Dallas unfathomable.

"Those officers went to work to walk alongside those protesters to protect them and in return they were picked off by a sniper," he said.

Goodman said he has concerns about how the police shooting will reverberate in his Ashland community.

"Many agencies in the area have worked through our community policing efforts to build bridges and I don't want to see those bridges to turn into walls," he added.

Former Petersburg Police Chief and former President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement John Dixon also reflected on Thursday night’s deadly ambush.

"We have to be aware, be more alert and learn how to better train, also learn how to get these relationships intact where these things don't happen," he said.

Dixon says what happened in Dallas is nothing less than disturbing but he knows it has reignited discussions across the country.

Former Petersburg Police Chief John Dixion

Former Petersburg Police Chief John Dixion

"Once a bullet leaves a gun, there is no color and it can hit anybody," he said. "We need to get rid of the warrior mentality and come up with ambassadorship solutions and be a part of the community."

In Richmond, Chief Alfred Durham acknowledged more protests will come in an email to his officers Friday.

Despite Thursday’s shootings in Dallas, he promised the same protection for those who want their voices heard.

Dixon said he agrees with Durham’s response.

"One of our keys to policing is to protect and serve,” he said. “We know we are going to be in harm’s way. We can't change protecting protesters."