McAuliffe announces regional sessions to improve police-community relations

policeGovernor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran announced today that as part of the McAuliffe administration’s continued efforts to foster positive police and community relationships, the administration will host a series of listening sessions with law enforcement and community partners to solicit recommendations on ways to continue strengthening and sustaining their relationships.

Local law enforcement agencies and community partners are invited to attend one of four Law Enforcement and Community Relations Listening Sessions on:

August 16, 2016 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Richmond Police Academy
Address: 1202 W. Graham Road, Richmond, VA, 23220
Web: www.ci.richmond.va.us/Police/academy.aspx

August 29, 2016 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy
Address: 45299 Research Place, Ashburn, VA, 20147
Web: www.nvcja.org

August 31, 2016 1:00pm – 3:00pm
Virginia Beach Police Academy
Address: 411 Integrity Way, Virginia Beach, VA, 23451
Web: www.vbgov.com/dept/police

September 27, 2016 10:00am – 12:00pm
Department of Forensic Science
Western Lab – Roanoke
Address: 6600 Northside High School Road, Roanoke, VA 24019
Web: http://www.dfs.virginia.gov/

“Strong law enforcement and community partnerships are an integral part in making our communities safe,” Governor McAuliffe said. “The recent violent tragedies in other states remind us that these relationships require constant attention. We will continue to help localities strengthen and sustain the ties between police and the communities they serve in the Commonwealth.”

Through the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) the McAuliffe administration has provided federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds for local law enforcement agencies to help strengthen their relationship with their local communities. Police agencies, sheriff’s departments and regional training academies have received grants to address cultural diversity, fair and impartial policing training, de-escalation techniques, community relations and communication support.

“I have seen firsthand how strong police and community partnerships, rooted in trust and cooperation, make our citizens safer,” said Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran.  “I look forward to hearing from law enforcement and their community partners about efforts to build trust and the resources localities need to nurture these relationships.”

In July 2015, Governor McAuliffe and Secretary Moran addressed law enforcement officials, criminal justice professionals and community stakeholders at the first statewide Building Trust and Legitimacy in Police-Community Relations Forum.

In June 2016, the DCJS issued a grant solicitation for the purchase of Body-Worn Camera systems to improve law enforcement interactions with the public.  The department has also developed a Body-Worn Camera Model Policy to serve as a structured template to assist law enforcement agencies that wish to adopt a comprehensive Body-Worn Camera policy.

DCJS Director Fran Ecker commented, “The use of Body- Worn Cameras is an effective tool to increase the trust between law enforcement officers and the communities they serve”.

The Department of Criminal Justice Services is also providing training to law enforcement agencies on Fair and Impartial Policing, Community Engaged Policing, and leadership training on police and community relations.

For more information on training or to register in advance for a regional session, go to www.dcjs.virginia.gov.

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