I am proud to announce the endorsement of Richmond Firefighters Local 188. Public safety is an important part of my platform, and I know how much we depend on the hard work of our firefighters. I am excited to have their support, and they will have mine as they prevent and fight fire in Richmond.
The best way to support firefighters is to support Measure U, Richmond’s tax on big businesses. With this new revenue, we can hugely improve city services like fire prevention and emergency response. We can also better staff all departments. This is one reason Richmond firefighters support me: I am the only mayoral candidate who will fully uphold Measure U.
A Comprehensive Plan for Public Safety
My public safety plan differs dramatically from that of my opponents. I think the best way to improve public safety is by focusing on prevention, not just showing up after something bad happens. The more we focus on prevention, the more we have a city that truly enjoys safety and security.
But preventing crime, traffic accidents, and disasters, both natural and man-made, requires a multifaceted approach and the cooperation of many city departments – including, but not only, the Richmond Police Department (RPD).
That’s why, as a council member in 2021, I voted to transfer $3 million dollars of unused funds from the Richmond Police Department’s $67 million dollar budget to help pay for proven crime prevention strategies.
With this investment, our city has better funded:
- YouthWorks, a city department that provides job training and placement for youth
- the Office of Neighborhood Safety (ONS), a nationally recognized gun violence prevention program
- showers, trash abatement, and jobs for unhoused residents
- and a mental health crisis response program, which will provide trained assistance to families and allow police officers to better focus on violent crime
That 5% reallocation resulted in no reduction in the number of police officers: in fact, we made no layoffs a condition of this budgetary change.
And it’s Working – Crime in Richmond is Going Down
Take a look at the police department’s own crime statistics, and you can see crime in Richmond this year is significantly lower than in years past. The same downward trend applies for property crime as well.
Everyone who works in public safety deserves praise for the steady progress we are making. Richmond is getting safer because we are investing in prevention. And for that kind of leadership, you can count on me.
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