Danville Police Department touts decreased crime, strategies for reduction in presentation

Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 3:59 PM EST
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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Showcasing strategies were centerpieces of a Tuesday presentation by the Danville Police Department.

Police leaders shared what’s worked for them as they’ve worked to reduce crime over the years.

See the entire report below this story.

They say a good starting point has been community trust.

“We’ve learned over the past few years that us developing the trust - the community trusting us - has contributed more to our success because it outweighs the fear that the folks in community have of criminals,” said Cpt. David Whitley.

From there, a variety of strategies has enabled the department to begin decreasing crime across the board.

Neighborhood-oriented policing has divided the city into parts and focused officers on their assigned part of the city.

Community engagement has furthered that by having police interact with residents to see what can make their quality of life better.

“What we perceive going on sometimes is not actually what is going on. We can get community input and find out what is actually happening in the community to make the quality of life better,” said Cpt. Keith Thompson.

Because of those and other efforts, overall crime has decreased from 2016 to 2021. Homicides, assaults and burglaries are just a few categories that have seen an overall drop.

Data shown Tuesday showed the average total of violent crime incidents from 2016 to 2018 was 267 per year. From 2019 to 2021, that number dropped to 132 per year.

Danville Police Chief Scott Booth says engagement strategies will continue to be at the forefront for the department.

“It’s become more important than ever for us to really find creative ways to address issues in our community,” said Booth.

As for 2022, the plan is to move into a new police building and continue building community engagement.

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