8News sits down with Richmond Police Chief Al Durham to talk about city crime

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — After a violent weekend in Richmond, the police chief is sitting down with 8News and talking about crime in the city, and his plans to fight it.

The chief says he wants his department to be more visible in the community, especially in communities that have been affected by brutal crime. He hopes to do this with a brand new initiative.

The city of Richmond has seen five homicides this year. Most recently, a 28-year-old man was fatally shot on Sunday on Bradford Road. Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham was on the scene — just as he has been for most every homicide this year.

39 days into Durham’s tenure, and on the heels of a violent weekend in the river city, Chief Durham sat down with 8News on Tuesday.

“I think this was just an anomaly of a weekend, I hope I don’t experience any other like this during the course of my career but we know these things happen,” said Durham.

Durham says after Sunday’s homicide, he has instituted a new policy that will keep officers in a community stricken by violence, even after the scene is clear.

“We come in as a police department, we put up our tape, we do our investigation but then we leave, we take the tape down and then we leave,” said Durham. “I call it the 48-hour plan. We’re going to be out there securing that community, days after the event has taken place.”

On Tuesday afternoon, we visited the scene of that murder, where the new plan was on full display. A mobile command center parked out front with lights in full glow, and an officer was walking the streets. The added safety is something neighbors appreciate.

“I think anytime that you have an officer or the police department stepping up in your area it’s a big help,” said Alton Edmonds, a neighbor who live in the Bradford Road neighborhood.

Chief Durham says that the hope is that once all the police tape is gone, and the scene settles, residents and witnesses may feel more comfortable sharing tips.

“If you engage folks, it’s not out of the ordinary for any citizen to come up to you and say hello, or to give you information and that’s the culture I am trying to change here,” said Durham.

Another concern for Chief Durham, is guns getting into the hands of juveniles. He says it’s becoming a big problem here. That’s why he’s working to reach teens and help parents realize they can use the police department as a resource to talk to their kids.

Stay with 8News for more on this developing story.

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