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Pepe Rodriguez

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?

Pepe Rodriguez

“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)

Mayra Dayann

“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)
Deramus Reynolds

“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)

Bruce Edward Johnson

“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)
Nyzeina Eberhart
“If they’re doing it the proper way, then yes, the police should get a raise. I’m an African American, and I do believe in police. I do believe we need the police. I just feel it needs to be more diverse. I feel they need to give more opportunities to African Americans and work more in the community to protect and serve the African American and Latino populations instead of just prosecuting us.” (Nyzeina Eberhart, fashion designer)

“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)
Diego Roig
“It depends on what the police officers are doing. If the police officers are dealing with law
enforcement issues, then no. But if they’re dealing with social and mental health awareness,
then yeah; I would support increased funding for police but it would have to be specifically for
that.” (Diego Roig)


  1. Mike Wilson on September 6, 2022 at 2:51 pm

    It might help to pay a premium to Richmond cops who choose to live in Richmond.

  2. S. Davenport on September 6, 2022 at 6:26 pm

    Absolutely their salaries need to be competitive with other cities. That is not the case now. Also, bring back the WHOLE FORCE, not some sliced up discount force where we’ve lost 30% of the officers. Other cities have reversed their “defund” actions. Only Richmond has not. Stop hating them. Bring back community policing like we had under Chris Magnus.

  3. Robert walton on September 7, 2022 at 7:14 am

    If we are going to pay police officers more, then outside of additional de-escalation training, any lawsuits filed against the police should be settled from the police Union’s retirement funds. If the city stopped having to pay for lawsuits out of operating budgets, there would be additional budget available not only to provide police with an increasing pay, but to add additional services to the community. Don’t defund the police, rather have the police pay for their mistakes out of their own unions retirement funding. When they can’t retire because of bad apples, then they will start to police themselves.

  4. Rae Friendly on September 7, 2022 at 8:53 am

    We need more reporting specifically on Richmond policing: detailed incidents of injuries to police and to suspects and bystanders, community policing initiatives, successes in identifying and arresting perpetrators without injury, and so forth.

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