RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- The Carytown New Year's Eve Party is a Richmond tradition and thousands of revelers waited for the ball to rise behind the Byrd Theatre, but they weren't alone. They had plenty of company from the Richmond Police Department.
Even before the New Year's celebration got started in Carytown, police were called to a homicide on 29th and Newbourne Streets in the city's East End around 5:45 pm. A resident found a man in his late 20's shot to death in the middle of the street. Witnesses saw two men running from the scene.
Richmond Police spokesperson James Mercante says, "Two black males, dressed in black fled on foot. Right now we see detectives here, we see K-9 units looking through the area."
Then, around two hours later, police respond to random shots of gunfire on Napoleon Street and Northside Avenue, one of dozens of random gunfire calls Richmond Police responded to Monday night.
And in Carytown, you couldn't miss seeing an officer even if you tried.
Mercante says, "Historically when the department has an evening such as this, they look at the staffing that is needed, the areas that need a little more staffing and they make their patrols based on history."
For revelers, the police presence brings nothing but comfort as they get ready to ring in the New Year. Those we talked to say they feel safe and trust the Richmond Police Department to protect them.