By Chief Allwyn Brown, Richmond Police Department
I want to make it known that we (Richmond Police) value and appreciate our community, and that we expect to continue to reply on the engagement of all in order to help make Richmond safer.
Our connection to community is indispensible when it comes to policing Richmond, responding to emergencies and assisting victims in seeking justice.
It is my hope that the current climate of fear and anxiety around how immigration regulations are enforced nationally does not slow the progress we’ve made.
The Richmond Police Department (RPD) is a component of local government, and its alignment is, and will remain with the priorities, direction and guidance offered by our local elected leaders.
Please know that RPD is committed to a proven effective community policing model that knows the unmistakable truth, that community safety is a responsibility for everyone, and not just a job for the police.
This requires active, engaged, and empowered neighborhood residents who freely interact with police without reservation. The RPD does not enforce federal immigration laws — doing so would harm community trust, and run counter to our various crime prevention and reduction efforts.
Our approach has long contemplated the reality that Richmond has a substantial undocumented population whose members tend to be targets of certain types of criminal victimization, because most criminal offenders are “rational” in their target selection for the reason that they want to avoid being identified and reported to police.
Perpetrators assume that certain targets for victimization will not report incidents to the police.
We’ve made good progress in growing community trust while also reducing crime and victimization, but still much work remains to be done. Community partners are essential to our collective progress moving forward.