The man holding this #BlackLivesMatter sign is Richmond (CA) police chief Chris Magnus, whose department has not lost an officer or killed a citizen since 2007, the year after he took over. This is not an accident, this peacefulness is the direct result of his leadership. Police departments across the country should be looking to his department as an example to be followed.

‘Chief Magnus changed the department from one that focused on “impact teams” of officers who roamed rough neighborhoods looking to make arrests to one that required all officers to adopt a “community policing” model, which emphasizes relationship building.

“We had generations of families raised to hate and fear the Richmond police, and a lot of that was the result of our style of policing in the past. It took us a long time to turn that around, and we’re seeing the fruits of that now. There is a mutual respect now, and some mutual compassion.”’

the interview is pretty awesome if you want to watch it: https://www.yahoo.com/news/richmond-california-police-chief-chris-magnus-talks-community-policing-in-katie-couric-interview-044448393.html?ref=gs

They also do regular officer trainings with roleplay scenarios and airsoft guns to teach them how to de-escalate, how to avoid firing when fired upon, and how to deal with people with weapons in a way that doesn’t end with a shootout.

They also apparently go through the details of officer-involved shootings elsewhere, picking them apart and using them as teaching tools for what NOT to do or what the officer could have done to avoid shooting the person.

Essentially, they take a proactive approach to not shooting people and put time, money, and effort into it. Richmond isn’t a low-crime area. Other cities could follow their model and almost certainly see results.

Who’d have thought it would take so much work to learn how to just … NOT shoot people

These are the sort of police officers who deserve respect.  The ones who take the time to build a relationship with the community they’re supposed to be protecting, and work to actually protect people instead of just shooting anyone who looked scary.

In before anyone tries to say that the only reason this works is because Richmond is probably like “not as bad” as other places in the US

I grew up here. I’m close to Richmond. It used to be one of the most dangerous cities in America. Literally. In 2006 it was #11 in the Most Dangerous Cities in America

Now? It doesn’t even break the top 100.

What changed? This guy became police chief in 2007.

IT’S SO FUCKING WEIRD HOW THAT WORKS! *looks pointedly at every other police force in America*

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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