Radford police working to improve relationship with community

Department to focus on community policing to build trust

RADFORD, Va. – As cities across the nation work to improve relationships between police departments and the people they are sworn to serve, the City of Radford has a familiar face working on it full time.

Police Chief Jeff Dodson said George Floyd’s death sparked important conversations within the Radford City Police Department.

“A lot of that prompted here at the police department some discussions on policy and making sure that policy we have in place here are best practices,” Chief Jeff Dodson said.

To help with his goals Dodson has decided to let Sgt. Emily Hite spend 40 hours a week dedicated to improving and coming up with new ideas for community policing.

“Just concentrating on the community and being transparent, we need to build trust and to do that they need to know what we’re doing in house,” Sgt. Emily Hite said.

Some efforts include socially distance meetings with faith-based leaders and virtual chats with the police chief. Hite hopes it will help bridge the gap between the department and the community.

“They know that trust, that they can trust in us in their worst times or when they just need some advice that we are there for them,” Hite said.

Dodson believes these new efforts will benefit the entire community in the long run.

“We’re going to solve more crimes, we’re going to get more information from citizens, we’re going to have less negative encounters with our citizens,” Dodson said.

Police Chief Dodson hosts a virtual chat with the community each Wednesday, email policeinfo@radfordva.gov to reserve a spot.

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