Richmond Standard: Richmond police Chief Magnus ‘celebrity star struck’ by Katie Couric’s visit

blogimage.jpgA statement from Richmond police Chief Chris Magnus:

We’ve had some interesting media attention recently–and I guess it’s mostly by coincidence that it’s all seemed to come at about the same time. There’s been a lot of interest in use of force issues by locally and nationally. Several journalists (including one from Al Jazera) participated in some of the same scenarios this past Friday we use with our own officers. Lt. Louie Tirona (our lead Firearms Instructor) demonstrated how we combine our firearms training with training on decision-making. He gave the participants a first-hand view of how challenging it is to make split-second decisions that are appropriate for the situation being encountered.

We also recently had guests at our monthly COMPSTAT meeting, including a reporter from the Associated Press (AP), who listened in as we discussed our priorities for the year ahead, including working better to deal with homelessness and helping individuals with mental health problems in the city. We also discussed approaches for reducing the number of street robberies in Richmond. Sometimes our guests are surprised by the candor of our discussions and the key role our civilian managers who coordinate Crime Prevention, Code Enforcement, and Crime Analysis play in our meetings.

We were a little “celebrity star struck” when Katie Couric, who now produces her own web-based program on Yahoo News stopped by to see what policing in Richmond looks like and how we’ve been working with the community to reduce violence and build relationships. She spoke with community activist (and Human Relations Human Rights Commissioner) Kathleen Sullivan and rode with south-side patrol Officer Ernest Loucas. She also grilled me with questions for about 90 minutes! That didn’t stop us from taking a few photos with her before she left! Her program will likely be on the web sometime in the near future.

It’s nice to see Richmond getting some positive attention for the progress we’re making, but we never forget this is a community endeavor that involves partnerships with lots of residents, community-based organizations, faith-based entities, advocacy groups, and many others. We also appreciate the critical support we get from our City Council, our Mayor, and our City Manager. It’s going to be a really interesting year ahead and we look forward to keeping you informed about the good, the bad, and the challenging as we move forward!

Reposted from Richmond Standard.

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