New police chief’s plan for “taking RPD to next level”

OK that’s potentially terrifying rhetoric, as, depending on your paranoia level, “next level” could mean “Storm Troopers” to you. But Chief Alfred Durham is focusing on integrity, community engagement, customer satisfaction, and the like. His plan is worth a read.

Chief Alfred Durham announced his 100-day plan this week, calling the Richmond Police Department the finest in the nation but then saying “buuuuuuuuut here are a bunch of things we are going to do to actually make far less lofty pronouncements even marginally true, because for real, we have some work to do.”1

His plan is worth a read, and it’s not long.


  • “Blue Light Specials”–I would have gently suggested another name if they’d asked me, as this implies (TO ME, and maybe I’m wrong) a police officer who is on sale. But the idea is interesting: permanent blue lights on many cop cars, so you always know when a cop is near. Think less “Big Brother” and more “I feel safe” and also “We are not always trying to pwn you by hiding in an alley with our lights off.”
  • Foot-Beats–This name not only is perfect just as it is, and it not only conjures images of officers whistling as they walk down the road, twirling a nightstick and occasionally breaking into a little soft-shoe routine, but it also could very well make neighborhoods a ton safer. I could see that working in my own hood and would love a chance to get to know some of the cops around the area.

We’ll see how all of this is working after the 100 days are up, but best of luck, Chief Durham and the RPD. And best of luck, the rest of us.

  1. If you get on my case for that not being an actual quote, I am going to foot-beat over to your place and shake you by the shoulders! 
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Susan Howson

Susan Howson is managing editor for this very website. She writes THE BEST bios.

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