People of Richmond: Should police be paid more?
on September 6, 2022
“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.
Q: Should Richmond increase police pay to make it easier for the city to recruit officers?
“Yes, but only if it goes to training.
We shouldn’t be defunding the police. They should be given more
training. You know, we can all use a little more training in our jobs. They should be trained in conflict resolution to find solutions instead of confrontation. Too often do you hear that these guys lose their tempers. Now, I lose my temper too, but when they blow a gasket someone loses their life. Maybe we should train their behavior.” (Pepe Rodriguez)
“I think that
the money should go towards the community.
I don’t think that by increasing their pay or putting more policemen out there would do
anything than what it already is doing. So, I wouldn’t stand by increasing their pay.” (Mayra Dayann)
“I believe that they should increase pay and recruit additional officers. From my understanding, they have been significantly understaffed and have not been able to meet the needs of our city. … I also think we shouldn’t pit police resources versus community resources. Both are needed. So even in the defunding conversation, I think resources need to be allocated to youth, to homelessness, to different things that actually prevent crime from happening as well.”(Dave Clark)
“I think that can help.
I’m from Richmond, and I know most of it’s an impoverish community, and I know law enforcement would help out a lot. I think bringing up the pay would help and bring some of that crime down. So definitely, I would all be for that.” (Deramus Reynolds)
“I don’t think so. Richmond police is kind of harsh.
I’m not saying they’re bad in every incidence. I cannot say that. I can say my incidence was bad. But in my experience, I think it should be going toward better training, most definitely.” (Bruce Edward Johnson)
“We should already be paying them well, right? Because they are serving the community, they are serving the public. Because I lived through that personal experience, seeing the conversations that people are saying like reimagining safety and what that looks like for us, but also seeing some responsiveness of police officers when I personally had to call. I think that goes hand in hand. I used to be on the night walks and other interventions we’ve had. We had meetings with the police chief in the past. I know there’s things that we can leverage as community members. I just don’t know if attaching dollars and investing in what safety actually looks like, I don’t think that’s the way. I think we would be going backwards from the years of work.“(Yaquelin Valencia, sheriff accountability campaign manager for Faith in Action)
“The police pay should be increased because we need more police around the business, around the schools, and we need more security. I do not feel safe, because when we call the police, they arrive too late and we have to wait for the police for about one hour. We are alone.”(Clara Gonzalez, restaurant owner)
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