Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic responded to residents' concerns Tuesday, saying his officers will take patrol over the areas that were under the RRHA police. He says the Richmond Redevelopment Housing Authority only maintained seven police officers. His force employs hundreds.
"Residents should not feel less safe," he says. "The Richmond Police Department, me, my staff, my more than 700 officers… everyone in this city is our responsibility. Everyone who lives in this city… everyone who visits this city… everyone who works in the city: It's our safety and security responsibility."
"I'd rather have some type of local protection that works with the city that can literally do their job," says Gilpin Court resident Ladarrell Pope. "The crime rate is going to go up."
Richmond Police Chief Tarasovic says they are always adjusting patrols to follow crime trends and they don't anticipate any problems going forward, despite losing help from RRHA.
"The RRHA police department, although very small, has been a nice adjunct to what we do. But that is what it has been: it's been an adjunct. It goes away. I continue doing business. We continue reducing crime in this city."
Tarasovic also says the officers who lost their job are welcome to apply to the Richmond Police Department, just like any other citizen.