Henrico County Police work to ease tensions following recent violence

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) —   Amidst trying times for law enforcement and the people they’re sworn to protect, Henrico County Police are working to bring both groups together.

On Monday afternoon, police met with church leaders for a look at the training officers undergo to make them more sensitive to the people they serve. All officers spend six hours of fair and impartial policing training to help them recognize biases they might not even know they have.

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“We are working on our behaviors and that’s what fair and impartial policing does, it helps us to be better people, right that’s the bottom line,” explained Major Clarence Hunter, a Deputy Chief of the department.

The Henrico Police Faith Community Coalition meeting was scheduled months ago, but the topic was timely following the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile as well as the violence that took the lives of five police officers in Dallas.

“When things like this happen, we should have immediate dialogue so that we don’t get set in stone that you’re killing our people. You know we need to know rhyme and reason why. We don’t know why this is happening,” NAACP rep Absia Bara said.

Ray Muhammed with Masjid Bilal adds that everyone needs to look beyond race and religion.”God the creator made us all human beings and the total human being is mind,

“God the creator made us all human beings and the total human being is mind, body and soul,” Muhammed added.

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The meeting was part of a continuing effort by Henrico Police to build trust with the community.

“There’s not one single police department in the U.S. that’s going to be successful unless we have a relationship with our community,” adds Major Hunter.

Police Chief Humberto Cardounel maintains “It truly is about partnerships and building those partnerships and doing what we can to work together to make Henrico County that much more of an enjoyable place.”

Henrico Police are offering the same training and discussion again on July 21st at 6 o’clock at the Henrico Theater.

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