RPD conducts walkthrough in Jackson Ward

11/27/2013, 10:13 a.m.
“With the holiday season upon us, officers will be asking residents to reduce the occasions when packages are left on ...

By Sylvina Poole

Richmond Police officers recently conducted a walk through of the Jackson Ward neighborhood. Chief Ray J. Tarasovic and other senior police personnel met at Abner Clay Park on the intersection of Clay Street and Brook Road to scan the area from there.

Officers spoke with residents regarding crime focusing on property related incidences.

“With the holiday season upon us, officers will be asking residents to reduce the occasions when packages are left on porches for extended periods of time," a RPD spokesperson said. "This greatly reduces the chances for theft of these items."

Lt. Donald Davenport of Sector 413, said that the end of 2012 there was a slight increase in overall crime in the area compared to 2011.

“By the end of 2012, violent crime was up 1% and property crime was up 3% as compared to 2011. I am happy to report that we have seen a significant reduced violent crime by 7% and property crime by 9%. I look forward to providing everyone with the crime statistics at the end of the year and feel very confident we will maintain those same reductions if not better them,” he noted.

According to Lt. Davenport, Chief Tarasovic and senior members of the Richmond Police Department conducted the walk through Jackson Ward in attempts to elicit ideas for improvement. Two members of the Historic Jackson Ward Association also attended and they were Leighton Powell who is the vice president and Janet Armstead who is a board member and president of the Neighborhood Watch.

"We gathered at Abner Clay Park where I thanked and briefed the group prior to departing. You should know the first thing mentioned was the sad and untimely death of HJWA (Historic Jackson Ward Association) President Charles Finley which occurred on Sunday November 17, 2013. As a matter of fact, Charles Finley’s funeral was held just hours prior to our meeting in Abner Clay Park for the walk," said Davenport.

“In the beginning, I thanked Ms. Powell and Ms. Armstead for their attendance and explained that I could certainly understand why many other members were not able to make the walk since it was a trying day for all. Many of us saw each other at Mr. Finley’s funeral as we listened to Reverend Nelson speak about our friend. I went on to explain that is was my gut reaction to postpose the walk being that it was scheduled on the day of Mr. Finley’s funeral. After consulting with several people, it was believed that Mr. Finley would not have appreciated such a response. He was, in fact, a cornerstone of community involvement and improvement. He was a kind, genuine, and a selfless man who served as the voice of reason for many of us in the community. He was involved in every aspect of improvement when it came to Jackson Ward and the City of Richmond as a whole. We took a moment of silence to remember our friend and then went out to do what he had spent years doing. I assure you, Mr. Finley was in the forefront of our minds as we walked though his neighborhood,” he said.