Why Richmond Police say going on community walks helps officers connect with the community

Posted at 11:41 AM, Jun 21, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police knocked on downs to break down community barriers Thursday night at the Ashley Oaks Apartments in the East End of Richmond.

The community walk was one in a series of walks through various Richmond neighborhoods.

Richmond Police said they hoped the walks helped officers build better relationships with neighbors and that those relationships led to a decrease in gun violence and other crimes.

"Let’s establish, let's start a dialogue with the citizens that live here and let’s start problem solving," Richmond Police Lt. James Hogan said. "We can't be everywhere all the time and the community sees and they hear, and it’s members of their community that are being victimized and if they can't come to us and we can’t speak to them there will always be that wall."

Richmond Police officers, Richmond City Council members, and members of some community organizations went door to door and spoke with residents. They also handed out pamphlets with their contact information, upcoming family activities, and youth resources.

"We want to make sure that we build a stronger relationship with the community, elected official RPD, RFD, and other community partners," 7th district City Council Representative Cynthia Newbille said. "We know that if we don’t have our young people involved in positive, constructive activities, that is not going to lead to anything positive."

Leon Dangerfield, with the non-profit Project Recover, said it was important that these groups come together for these events.

"I go to every community walk just to be a presence," said Dangerfield. "Sometimes you got to take the help to the people and not wait for them to ask for it."

"That’s why we’re doing things these block walks and these summer safe initiatives, to bring officers out into the community so that people see us and feel our presence and start the dialogue," Hogan said. "We want to be here to support them and if anything just being out here and forging relationships with them leads us to a place where we all feel a little bit safer."

The link for the upcoming family activities and summer youth programs can be found on the Next Up website.

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