Richmond Mayor, Police Chief Discuss Violent Crimes - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Richmond Mayor, Police Chief Discuss Violent Crimes

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On Tuesday morning, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic are scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss the alarming number of violent crimes that have taken place in the city in recent months, many of which involved children. On Tuesday morning, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic are scheduled to hold a meeting to discuss the alarming number of violent crimes that have taken place in the city in recent months, many of which involved children.
On Tuesday morning, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic held a meeting to discuss the alarming number of violent crimes that have taken place in the city in recent months. On Tuesday morning, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic held a meeting to discuss the alarming number of violent crimes that have taken place in the city in recent months.
RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - On Tuesday morning, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones and Chief of Police Ray Tarasovic held a meeting to discuss the alarming number of violent crimes that have taken place in the city in recent months, many of which involved children.

So far this year, three young children have been shot in the City of Richmond; another was beaten to death. On Monday evening, the city witnessed its 20th homicide of 2014.

Every time a violent crime happens in Richmond, Mayor Dwight Jones has instructed Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic to personally call him, no matter the day of the week no matter the hour.

"Today I feel that I have been getting far too many phone calls and that is what I am here to speak about today."

Since January, the Mayors phone has rung 20 times for homicides, compared to only 13 at this point last year. Despite the spike, today the mayor praised the work being done by the police chief

"They are often on the scene of these instances in less than a minute and they have a very strong case closing rate and they have actually improved our overall crime statistic in recent years," Jones says.

The police chief says he has planned sector community meetings as well as neighborhood walks to meet personally with residents to improve relations between police and the community.

"These meetings are not meetings where we talk... where I give speeches,"Tarasovic says. "They are meetings where community gets together to identify, analyze and solve problems."

Both men say to combat the violence they hope to reduce poverty in Richmond, and work to get illegal guns off of the street.

"Illegal firearms are a problem," Tarasovic says. "There's a significant problem and their indiscriminate use is a significant problem."

One major thing both officials stressed is they need the community to report information when they know something that could help police.  They stress if you see something say something.

Councilwoman Reva Trammell represents Richmond's 8th voter district. She says residents she speaks with in her jurisdiction are scared.

"They are disgusted," she says. "They are fed up. They are scared to come outside they are scared to come to the door."

She says the mayor's announcements are going to do little to improve the crime rate.

"It's a little too late, he comes out after it. Look at the blight… look at the trash… look at the filth…. That is what needs to be taken care of too. When you got this stuff in your neighborhood what do you expect? You are going to have crime because nobody cares."

Trammell says the mayor has his priorities wrong

"He has cared more about a ballpark than he has about us, the citizens, the tax payers in Richmond, the schools the streets, the trash, the crime."

But during his news conference, the mayor said he is often participating in crime prevention walks and says he is always evolved with the community.

"I've been in this community for 43 years and i have been going to vigils and crime walks for 30 years and i continue to do that," he says. "I'm not just a Johnny Come Lately to this."

Charles Willis with Citizens Against Crime says he was happy with what he heard.

"it was great to hear exactly what is coming from our city leaders," he says. "I think the chief and the mayor are definitely on target where we as citizens need to go from here."

Click here to read Mayor Jones' full statement.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond


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