No homicides last month, Kennedy student disarmed, police commission hears
on December 11, 2019
The Richmond Community Police Review Commission got an update last Wednesday night from Interim Police Chief Bisa French, who reported the city experienced no homicides in the month of November.
Despite the absence of murder, there were a couple of shootings, French added. Some of the shootings involved high volume rounds of rifle fire, with up to 30 rounds shot. French added some of the shootings may be linked to similar recent incidents, and some involved young adults between 20 to 25 years old. (Lieutenant Matt Stonebraker, spokesman for the police department, later clarified that six injuries resulted from the two shootings. As of Dec. 11, no arrests had been made in those cases.)
Addressing prevention at the December 4 meeting, French told the commission that a police department School Resource Officer (SRO) disarmed a student at Kennedy High School on Wednesday. SROs are essential personnel in the effort by law enforcement to create safer environments, she stressed.
“We actually are able to get a lot of guns off of kids at school without any issues because somebody says, ‘Hey check that room, because I just saw a kid with a gun in her backpack,’” said French. “That happens more times than not.”
Among collaborative youth programs, French singled out the “Straight As Program” which takes students with good grades on field trips.
In other business, the commission heard a report from Raheem Tech CEO Brandon Anderson. Raheem Tech is a non-profit organization that provides a platform for the public to report police conduct. Raheem provides a mobile and data tool that can measure policing in real-time through surveys filed by users after interacting with police.
Anderson proposed a preliminary plan that would last for three months at a price tag of $40,000. He followed up with the full-year package with a price tag of $95,000. When asked how many cities are already registered with the nonprofit, Anderson said eight cities are participating. While some of the board members expressed curiosity, others turned down the service for reasons that included financial limits.
“Well we don’t have the money in our budget for this,” said Commissioner Carol Hegstrom.
Following the holidays, the first Richmond Police Review Commission meeting of 2020 is slated for January 8, a week after its regular session.
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