Danville Police Chief and Gang Prevention Coordinator write book addressing rift between police and Black community

Published: Dec. 17, 2020 at 7:19 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - While working together on how to improve community policing In Danville, Danville’s chief of police, Scott Booth, and youth and gang violence prevention coordinator, Robert David, turned their conversations into a book they hope will lead to more conversations and move police departments forward.

“It really is, I think, a blueprint for communities and they can move things forward,” said Booth.

The book, “Bigger than Back the Blue,” highlights strategies and addresses historical issues that have caused the rift between African Americans and police.

“If we are going to do the job, we need to do it; we can’t put that aside and say that never happened, you have to be sensitive to what has happened to move forward,” said David.

From apologizing for the department’s role in 1963 Bloody Monday protests to embracing last summer’s local protest against police brutality, Booth says the book highlights the need for change.

“Regardless of the protests that we have seen that swept the nation and the world this year, there is a level of change that is needed in how we do things.” said Booth.

The two even address the controversial topic of defunding police and how the message of the statement has been lost in politics.

“We have taken on a lot of things more than we should have, and a lot of it is because we got results, and maybe those results could’ve been done a better way and this is an exploration of that.” said Booth.

David and Booth are hopeful that anyone who reads the book will put it down with a different mindset on improving policing.

“We can do it together, you don’t have to have the same method, but those methods that come together work synergistically to produce something positive to change the community,” said David.

The book is available on Amazon for preorder and will release December 23.

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