Crime

Richmond police present council with update after report found leadership problems

The report last year by MBD Innovations, a public safety consulting group, identified six key issues within the department: a lack of a compelling vision; a disconnect between management and staff; poor morale; poor handling of high-profile disciplinary cases; a lacking relationship between the city manager and the police chief; and an unnecessarily acrimonious relationship between the Richmond Police Officers Association and the Richmond Police Department (RPD) administration.

Council hears presentation on School Resource Officers and wastewater

On Tuesday, the Richmond City Council heard presentations on wastewater infrastructure and School Resource Officers—or SROs—among other items. SROs, who are full-time police officers stationed at schools, have come under criticism recently in the West Contra Costa Unified School District due to budget constraints and because parents, teachers and other community members have raised questions about their effect on school climate. Several members of the Richmond Police Department—Chief Allwyn Brown, Sergeant Lynette Parker and Officer Joseph England—explained the role of…

Richmond’s former prisoners get out the vote

This year, California had the largest number of people registered to vote in the state’s history, with nearly 20 million ready to hit today’s polls. Formerly incarcerated people in Richmond, some of whom are voting for the first time, helped the state reach that record. In the lead up to the election, organizations across the city worked to educate formerly incarcerated people and their families about their right to vote. Laws vary across the country on voting rights for those…

With no benefits and less pay than prosecutors, entry-level public defenders want a raise

They have no health insurance. They work ten or 11-hour days. They have no free weekends. No, they aren’t flipping burgers at a fast food restaurant. They are attorneys on the government’s payroll. Public defenders, the lawyers hired by the county government to aid those who cannot afford legal representation, showed up at the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors meeting on September 11th to demand better pay and benefits. They are not only overworked, but at entry-level jobs, they…

As vacant property tax vote nears, residents debate effectiveness

Richmond residents will vote in November on a vacant property tax that could raise $5 million in revenue for homeless services and code enforcement. While almost everyone agrees that homelessness and blight are major issues facing the city, there’s a debate over whether taxing property owners is the most effective way to address the problem.