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In N.C., Norwood says police must draw communities together

January 25, 2013 | VACP

Richmond police chief speaks at forum with two other job finalists

BY .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) |  Richmond Times-Dispatch

RALEIGH, N.C. — Richmond Police Chief Bryan T. Norwood, speaking at a public forum Thursday night with two other finalists for the chief’s job in Raleigh, discussed his passion for bringing diverse groups together to solve problems, the importance of honesty as a leader and his general love for his career in law enforcement.

“I’ve been a student of community policing and policing in general,” Norwood told an audience of more than 80 people at the Raleigh government complex.

Norwood and the two other finalists — Cassandra Deck-Brown, 49, interim police chief for Raleigh, and Malik Aziz, 44, deputy chief of police in Dallas — responded to several questions posed by Raleigh City Manager J. Russell Allen, who ultimately will select the city’s next police chief.

Norwood, 46, who became Richmond’s police chief in November 2008, talked about his studies at Hampton University, where he received a degree in psychology, and said he then decided that he wanted to pursue a career in law enforcement.

“My passion has been to bring communities together” and supply officers with the best equipment possible, Norwood said. When asked what the best method is for a police chief to communicate with those he serves and protects, Norwood said, “I think the most effective way is face to face.”

“You have to talk to people,” he added. “You have to understand what their needs are.”

He added: “Our communities have become more and more educated on the law. We have to be at our best at all times … and morally upright.”

Norwood said he believes police must invest in their community to win trust. “Men and women of a police department represent government at the highest level,” he said. “We try to find uncommon partners.”

He mentioned a youth program he started in Richmond in which young people meet regularly with the police command staff, and the police have dinner with them, pray with them and mentor them.

He also discussed his partnership in Richmond with various faith leaders. “We’ve done good things,” he said.

Before Norwood was named chief in Richmond, he had served as chief in Bridgeport, Conn., beginning in 2006. He spent the bulk of his career working for the police department in nearby New Haven. ...

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