Richmond task force on reimagining public safety releases final report

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) – A task force, convened by Mayor Levar Stoney, to reimagine public safety in Richmond has released its final report.

After unrest across Richmond and across the nation, Stoney formed the task force to review mental health resources and police reform.

In total, the task force came up with 15 recommendations.

Among them is to develop a new system for mental health, substance abuse and other non-criminal calls. Those calls would go to a non-police line where professionals could step in.

Another is to emphasize de-escalation measures and require officers to step in if any other RPD member is doing anything ‘unethical’ or that violates the law or policy.

The task force also recommends more de-escalation training and improving the hiring process.

To help with community engagement, they recommend regular community town halls to share public safety information with the public.

To improve accountability, they recommend creating an anonymous, third party system for residents to file complaints against officers and/or creating an ‘Office of Compliance.’

The mayor’s office is now tasked with looking at each recommendation, establishing an implementation plan and getting more community input.

“I’m mindful and appreciative of the emphasis the task force placed on equity and restorative justice throughout the process,” Stoney said in a statement. “The report is firmly rooted both in those shared values and an acknowledgement of the difficulty of changemaking on a large, permanent scale.”

Chief of Police Gerald Smith also released a statement saying, “We look forward to thoroughly evaluating these recommendations to enhance current practices and reimagine public safety with the community.”

To read the full report, click here.

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