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Update on civil unrest review also provided at informational event
Fredericksburg, VA – July 30, 2020 -- The Fredericksburg Police Department, in an effort to continually advance its organization and fulfill its mission of being dedicated to fair and just policing and safely serving its community, is proud to announce the success of the first in a series of community outreach events and the introduction of newly implemented enhancements and improvements to its policing efforts.
Yesterday, July 29th, Fredericksburg Police Chief Brian Layton announced several important changes and improvements that have been proactively implemented by the Department’s leadership and were announced at the community at a public informational event.
“Our goal is to build strong and transparent relationships with the communities we serve, and this event was the first in our ongoing efforts to do just that. It was important to me that we communicate updates and improvements directly to the public first so that we may answer questions and hear their feedback. I am proud of our police force for adopting this first set of changes to ensure that we are safely serving our entire community and in the best interests of everyone,” said Chief Layton.
The event hosted approximately 60 attendees from the public who had the opportunity to learn about the Department’s complaint process, the training sworn staff receive to provide exceptional service, the agency’s national accreditation, and more. Participants were also the first to hear several major recent advancements implemented by the Department, including:
· Adoption of the 8 Can’t Wait The 8 Can’t Wait is a national police reform campaign outlining eight policy changes police departments can make that greatly reduce the number of negative police incidents. Before the movement, the Department fully complied with six of the eight policies advocated. After careful research, directive revisions, and roll call training to ensure officers understood the directive changes, the Police Department now fully complies with all eight policies advocated. To see the revised directive, click here.
· Provided Update on Internal Review of Civil Unrest on May 31 – June 2 Chief Layton emphasized to participants the Police Department is committed to completing an internal review of the use of force incidents concerning police response to incidents of civil unrest from May 31st through June 2nd. By the end of this week, Chief Layton will receive the completed use of force review from the Professional Standards Office and a synopsis of the after-action reports. Chief Layton intends to provide the public with a written preliminary report regarding these topics next week on Thursday, August 6th. This information will then be handed to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) for a thorough third party review. PERF plans to be in the City of Fredericksburg for initial community engagement on August 25th to 27th.
· Expansion of the Citizen Advisory Panel Chief Layton excitedly announced he is expanding the Citizens Advisory Panel and will begin taking applications on Tuesday, August 4th to fill five spots. He emphasized his commitment to ensuring the panel is inclusive and includes people from schools / universities, young adults between the ages of 18 to 30, the business community, racial, social, or economic justice organizations, the faith-based community, and the LGBTQ community. More information about the application process will be available on the Police Department website next week.
· Department Planning a Second Informational Event on Wednesday, August 19th. The Department is committed to transparency and educating the community it serves about its practices, policies, and procedures. Topics for the next Informational Event will be announced publicly at a later date.
Participants were allowed to submit questions ahead of the event and during the event. Due to limited time, the Department was not able to answer all the questions submitted at the event. The Department will provide answers to all questions submitted and make them available on their website for everyone to review next week.