RPD police chief talks about RRHA force’s future

Posted on: 5:56 pm, October 24, 2013, by , updated on: 06:38pm, October 24, 2013

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) –In an interview with CBS 6 News, Richmond’s police chief said he is working the Redevelopment and Housing Authority (RRHA) to figure out what’s next for the agency.

Police Chief Hal Hazelton may be off the job, but his picture is still posted on Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority’s website.

For 14 years, Hazelton headed the department’s nine-member police force that protects and serves the 10,000 residents who live in the city’s 4100 public housing units.

Patrice Crook, who lives in Gilpin Court, one of the public housing communities, supports RRHA police.

“They come around and see what’s going on with the neighborhood. And talk to us and talk to the kids,” said Crook.

Madeline Givens, another Gilpin Court resident, pointed out that RRHA police patrol the neighborhood and lock up criminals.

However, CBS 6 News wanted to determine the RRHA Police Department’s specific responsibilities since Richmond police also respond to 911 calls in the neighborhoods.

According to the agency’s website, the department is dedicated to promoting RRHA’s commitment to public safety as well as working closely with residents, the community and the City of Richmond in reducing and preventing crime.

CBS 6 News’ Sandra Jones pressed Richmond Police Chief Ray Tarasovic Thursday afternoon about the future of the RHHA force.

When asked if public housing communities need separate police departments, Tarasovic said the RPD is working with  RRHA leaders to examine all options.

Additionally, Tarasovic pointed out that some public housing authorities across the country have their own police forces while others do not.

RRHA has named an interim police chief, but there has been no word on who will replace Hazelton.

CBS 6 News reached out to the RRHA, but is still waiting to hear back as of 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Additionally,  several tenant council presidents declined to comment on the story.

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