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Crime Prevention and Safety

For years, Alexandria has been a small city with a big-city crime problem.  Confronting and reducing crime requires difficult decisions, bold action, and challenging many of our preconceived notions and practices.  It requires us to confront some hard truths, not only about the efficacy of law enforcement practices, but also about the responsibilities of parents; the role of teachers, schools, churches, and the courts; and the effectiveness of neighborhood watch groups and other community organizations. 

We must confront and fully recognize the underlying causes of crime: decaying neighborhoods, irresponsible or absent parents, poverty, unemployment, and a culture in which crime isn’t only acceptable but considered a rite of passage. 

“I believe in the base-lining efforts of the study commissioned by us and performed by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.  I would also encourage a look back at material circulated by this campaign in 2006.  We followed that blueprint; it was confirmed by the I.A.C.P.; and we have made the organizational change needed to move us forward.  Policing and fire protection are just as much infrastructure as roads, utility lines, and drainage conduits.  They are human infrastructure.”  Jacques Roy, 2009

Alexandria’s problem with crime did not occur overnight, and we must recognize while there is no quick fix, we cannot afford to be complacent or reluctant to reform.  Alexandria’s “big city” crime problem not only shatters families and ruins lives; it threatens the future and the prosperity of our entire community.  

Mayor Roy believes in technology and protection for our officers, too.  With operating capital, which did not create recurring expenses with one-time money—and through grants—this Administration purchased AEDs for vehicles, ballistic equipment for each officer, a BearCat armored vehicle, increases to the ADSI personal PC systems in each officer’s unit, and the multi-purpose robotic officer.  In a completely police department-initiated response, the officers stepped up and gained a vehicle for a new command center and then sought an gained the grants to outfit that vehicle with the best technology. 

Shortly after taking office, Mayor Roy commissioned the first-ever objective study and audit of the practices, operations, and structure of the Alexandria Police Department.  The study, which was conducted by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, made numerous recommendations for reform.  Under the exceptional leadership of Mayor Roy’s selection of Loren Lampert as police chief, those recommendations were implemented. 

Still, law enforcement is only one piece of the puzzle. 

If we are to eliminate the culture of crime, we must be united as a community, in a spirit of shared cooperation.  That is why Mayor Roy is working through city court and its prosecutors to develop effective youth intervention programs, and that’s why he has brought the leaders of neighborhood groups and community organizations to the table, assigning them key roles on decision-making committees. 

As we work together as a community, Mayor Roy believes we can accomplish dramatic reductions in crime, particularly property crime.  Because of the reforms he has set in place and the partnerships he has forged with others, Alexandria has the unique ability to rid itself of “big city” crime. 

Mayor Roy recognizes this problem cannot be solved by one person or even one law enforcement agency.  It requires the support of the entire city: teachers, parents, ministers, and neighborhood leaders.  We need responsible parenting as much as we need community policing.

We need parents, mentors, and pastors to proactively intervene in the lives of young adults.  We need these young people to understand and appreciate the value of an education and a job.  More than anything else, education and employment are the most effective ways of reducing and preventing crime. 

If we are to be honest about Alexandria’s problem with crime, we must recognize it will take a multi-pronged approach.  It will require us to make reforms in law enforcement, which Mayor Roy has already initiated, and it will also require us to work together, as a community, in order to champion education, proper parenting, and the importance of maintaining a job.

Here’s the detail compiled by the Mayor himself: DOWNLOAD