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The original item was published from 11/21/2016 10:34:00 AM to 12/14/2016 12:40:49 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: November 19, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Police chief declares steps to reduce violent crime

Photo of Police Chief Philip Broadfoot at news conference Saturday

Police Chief Philip Broadfoot announced today that he has instructed staff to take steps now to increase the number of officers on the streets in an effort to interrupt drug and gang activities and reduce violent crime.

Broadfoot made the announcement at a news conference held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the City Council Chambers. On Thursday and Friday night, the city experienced the 13th and 14th homicides of the year. This number of homicides has never been reached before since the Police Department began keeping records in 1953.

"We cannot let our young people continue on this path of self-destruction," Broadfoot said. "The well-being and peace of mind of the citizens of Danville demands that extraordinary measures be taken to deal with extraordinary circumstances."

Broadfoot also said the department will reach out to surrounding law enforcement agencies for assistance. These agencies include the Virginia State Police and the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office.

"We will seek to interrupt the activities of these gangs and focus on preventing other juveniles from becoming involved," Broadfoot said. "The common denominator in many of our homicides this year are groups of young men involved in drug and gang activity. Many of them have been repeatedly involved in the juvenile justice system with no sign of improvement in their behavior. It is my hope that the community will participate in this effort to control this criminal activity. We will have better success if citizens say something when they see something."

City Council has directed the city manager and the Police Department to develop long-term solutions to the problem of violent crime.


Full text of police chief's statement:

"On Thursday and Friday night, the City of Danville experienced the 13th and 14th homicides of the year. This number of homicides has never been reached before since the Danville Police Department began keeping records in 1953. We responded to these two incidents with all the resources of the Department and worked tirelessly to gather evidence and interview witnesses.

"Both of these investigations are ongoing and the information I can share at this time is limited. What can be shared is that both a 15-year-old male juvenile and a 21-year-old male adult lost their lives because of their willing presence at the scene of criminal activity. It is important for every parent or family member to ensure their children are not associated with this activity.

"We cannot let our young people continue on this path of self-destruction. The well-being and peace of mind of the citizens of Danville demands that extraordinary measures be taken to deal with extraordinary circumstances.

"Beginning immediately, I have instructed my staff to begin measures intended to maximize the number of officers on the street by adjusting schedules, reassigning personnel and working overtime. We will also reach out to surrounding law enforcement agencies for assistance. These agencies include the Virginia State Police and the Pittsylvania County Sheriff’s Office, among others. We will seek to interrupt the activities of these gangs and focus on preventing other juveniles from becoming involved.

"The common denominator in many of our homicides this year are groups of young men involved in drug and gang activity. Many of them have been repeatedly involved in the juvenile justice system with no sign of improvement in their behavior. It is my hope that the community will participate in this effort to control this criminal activity. We will have better success if citizens say something when they see something.

"City Council, the City Manager and the Police Department are actively engaged in seeking long-term solutions to this problem. We have sought assistance from the Virginia Attorney General’s Office, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Virginia and federal law enforcement agencies. We have sought grant money to provide training in conflict resolution and implicit bias and to purchase equipment and crime analysis services.

"While the desire to provide intervention training and analysis to reduce such involvement and activity is necessary and will continue, there comes a time when a strong enforcement effort must be made to protect the very lives of these young men who are at risk."

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