Danville police 'stepping' up effort to combat crime

Police department began a monthly neighborhood walk program Thursday

DANVILLE, Va. – Danville Police Chief Scott Booth and about 35 of his officers and detectives walked through the Cardinal Village housing complex Thursday afternoon and talked to residents.

"I've heard a lot about this neighborhood since I got here, even before I got here. This was a neighborhood that was plagued with gun violence in 2017 and 2016, specifically," Booth pointed out. "I heard that we weren't here as much as we need to as far as visibility, as far as connecting with the community."

Octavia McRide has lived in Cardinal Village for about two years and said this is something she's never seen before.

"I think it's good. The area will probably be safer if we do have officers walking around," McRide said.

Jennifer Johnson doesn't live in the housing complex, but visits often.

Seeing the officers and getting to talk to them one-on-one does make her feel a little safer.

She doesn't worry too much about the crime, however.

"If you keep to yourself, you don't have to worry about anybody bothering you," Johnson said.

Deputy Police Chief Dean Hairston participated in Thursday's walk and said he enjoys getting to meet residents.

"A lot of times, you get caught up in administrative things. You don't get a chance to get out in the street and talk to folks," Hairston said. "Being able to get to their residence and talk to them and understand their situation, it's great."

Booth believes all of this walking and talking is making a difference.

"I think the more we're out there talking to people, the more they see that human side of us, the better our trust gets," Booth said.

The location and date for the next neighborhood walk had not been set as of Thursday.