PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – A conversation between police and the community was held in Portsmouth Tuesday afternoon. It was a prayer meeting and discussion about the state of affairs in the United States — and locally — today.
This was a very peaceful, very specific and direct conversation held Tuesday.
Chief Angela Greene, as well as other leaders in the police department, joined with members of the community to discuss how to make the positive steps happen that the country is now asking for.
“I think it was great. I think it gave a lot of individuals that opportunity to ask questions that they did not [before]. How the police department operates, they did not know the programs we have or how transparent we want the community to be. I think it gave a lot of insight that we can work together and we want to hear their issues. We want to work with them together,” Greene said.
Men and women from different backgrounds took the mic to ask questions about body cameras, preventative measures, the “us versus them” mentality and use of force.
“I love it because it shows there is no masked agenda and they are speaking from the heart. They are not trying to curtail the conversation. It’s raw emotion and that’s the only way we are going to bridge the gap and move forward, is if people speak out and they’re honest with their fears and their issues,” she said
They started with prayer and ended with prayer.
Greene spoke candidly about her own life and the same conversations she has in her own family about being a minority and interacting with police. She emphasized that she is working tirelessly to build bridges with not just the community but also the religious community. She says at the end of the day, their goal is to protect quality of life.
“Any restrictions chokeholds of the breath and knees on the back of the neck is prohibited in our policy. It is not trained it is not part of our defensive practice and it will never be part of policy,” she emphasized.
They made sure to point out this is the first conversation of many. What happens in this meeting helped them have a better understanding of what needs to happen to see actual change.
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