Tom Butt
  E-Mail Forum – 2022  
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  Quick Response from RPA Spin Machine
July 29, 2022

There were three items on the July 26 City Council Agenda dealing with the Richmond Police.

The first was Item Y.1, Police department and Fire department recruitment efforts featuring a report from Municipal Resource Group (MRG) on recruitment efforts. One slide that caught my eye had the tag line “Community Policing Dedicated to Superior Service,” which was particularly ironic since the enabling legislation that authorized the anti-police Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force directed staff to, …”prepare a plan to transition from Richmond’s current community policing model, to a plan conducive to reduce police force and return to Council with a preferred policing model, and a plan for implementation by the end of the fiscal year. And to create a transition accountability task force of the public, to advise staff during that process. And that that task force would have access to legally allowable data, and to legal questions from the City Attorney’s office. And that task force would have standing meetings with the City Manager.”

Clearly, the consultant did not understand that the RPA controlled City Council had abandoned community policing over two years ago.

We know that police recruitment is difficult everywhere, but it has been made particularly difficult in Richmond because of the RPA anti-police stance and their failure to provide competitive compensation and other incentives to attract and retain police officers. Incidentally, Fire Department recruitment is not a challenge, with hundreds of applicants competing for a handful of jobs.

The next two items, Y.2 and Y.3 were taken together (Richmond Police Department Minimum Staffing Levels and Ballot Measure Regarding Richmond Police Department Minimum Staffing Levels). Police Chief Bisa French supported a commitment to 165 officers needed to provide a basic level of service. There are only 145 authorized currently and less than 100 actually available for duty due to injuries and other difficulties. She discussed the toll that significant mandatory overtime was taking on the morale and health of officers. She also acknowledged that it may take years to hire up to that level, given current recruitment challenges.

The RPA City Council members and their supporters strongly oppose any increase in police positions, and the RPA City Council members voted down both proposals.

The Reimagining Public Safety Community Task Force is dominated by anti-police members, including Randy Joseph, who is prominently featured in the flier shown below that uses the “Reimagine Richmond” name and features the City of Richmond logo.

At tonight's City Council meeting, the Mayor is proposing to increase RPD by 20 officers, this is the exact opposite of how we Reimagine Public Safety and Richmond! Read our Toolkit for talking points and how to make public comments! 


Upcoming Community Events

Today at 5p.m. join Charles, youth organizer, and Randy Joseph speak about the Community Police Review Commission and the call to action for the City Council Meeting. 

In collaboration with the City of Richmond +
Safe Return Project! 

With this event, we hope to show the significance of the proposed 911 Call Analysis and give community members an opportunity to speak to a consultant directly to inform their research and final report to our city council. Your experience is important and your voice needs to be heard!