RPD chief invites public to virtual meeting on department changes

Richmond top cop reacts to George Floyd's death
Photo: City of Richmond

Richmond police Chief Bisa French will discuss changes to the department in 2021 at a virtual event Monday.

The virtual Coffee with a Cop event will take place at 5 p.m. To join, see the link at the end of this story.

According to a graphic summarizing 2021 changes, RPD is having dispatch refer some calls to online reporting rather than sending a patrol response. Also, dispatch is referring calls about barking dogs to Animal Control rather than the previous patrol response. Instead of police officers, code enforcement officials will respond to noise complaints from businesses, with patrol verifying after hours. Police also will no longer conduct civil standbys unless they are needed during business hours and approved by the watch commander. Civil standbys involve police officers standing by at a location in order to keep the peace in a situation involving a civil dispute.

“We wanted to let the community know about some upcoming changes to the department’s 2021 services,” Chief French said in a statement. “You may have already experienced some of these modifications in services due to the pandemic, such as increased online reporting. It is important that the community be aware of these changes and be prepared of how some call types will be handled. These changes are necessary due to staffing constraints, reducing the possibility of COVID-19 exposure, and responding to requests from the community to allow other service providers to handle certain issues as opposed to law enforcement.”

To join the meeting, go here.

Meeting ID: 508 338 1060

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