HOPEWELL, Va. -- Community members, law enforcement officials, and faith-based leaders came together Thursday night for a prayer session and public forum at Carter Woodson Middle School.
The goal of the event was to unite the community and its leaders in the wake of the recent officer-involved shootings across the country.
“I love this city, I love this job, but it’s not easy,” said a Hopewell Sheriff’s Deputy.
Hopewell Police Chief John Keohane agreed with that statement saying, “Sometimes it’s tough for us to put on the badge.”
Law enforcement officials spoke about the challenges of the job and making sure they are united with the community they are sworn to protect.
Officials urged community members to write down and report problems they may have with how they are treated by an officer so the department can investigate.
Hopewell police also addressed the effectiveness of body cameras and how they’ve seen complaints go down since wearing them.
“People ask us, ‘is that camera running?’ Oh yes it is. It works both ways... how people interact with each other and guess what our complaints have gone down,” said Chief Keohane.
Keohane also stressed the importance of fair and impartial police training at Crater Criminal Justice Training Academy.
“I’m very big in bring in training for officers to be fair and impartial and how to abide by constitutional law and being fair and unbiased,” said Keohane. “That training is happening every day.”
The forum and prayer session was hosted by the Hopewell Police Department in partnership with the Hopewell Sheriff’s Office and the Organization of Concerned Churches and Citizens.