Charlottesville Police Chief Dr. RaShall Brackney and Albemarle Police Chief Ron Lantz explore current policing issues in this podcast from the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.
Lantz explained that since 2012 the county has been divided into two geographic based districts with each staffed by its own officers in order for the community and officers to get to know each other better. As a result, there has been a 30 percent decrease in crime and police response times, and there is increased trust between the police and community. Brackney emphasized relationship building with citizens in order to determine what they want, need and deserve.
The effect of COVID-19 on police policy has both departments relying more on phone or online reporting from citizens which has been beneficial in some instances and may be used more in the future. There has been a decrease in violent crimes and traffic stops. On the other hand, there have been concerns about increases in domestic violence, homicides and suicides as well as an illicit underground economy with so many unemployed.
The two spoke at the Wednesday December 9, 2020 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was moderated by Thomas Frampton, University of Virginia Law professor and expert on criminal law and constitutional procedure.