Two local police chiefs visit White House to discuss community policing

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Two local Peninsula police chiefs were recently invited to the White House to discuss 21st century community policing.

“It’s very evident that in no time in policing’s history has it been more important that we focus on things such as relationship and trust building,” said Newport News Police Chief Richard Myers.

Myers, along with Hampton Police Chief Terry Sult, were on a short list of chiefs from around the country to be part of the discussion.

“We have to constantly evolve,” Sult added. “We have to constantly evolve to the expectations of the public.  We are the public’s police department.”

The chiefs agree that this is the most difficult time ever to be in law enforcement. Officers now have to not only be focused on answering calls, but also getting out of the car and getting to know the people they protect.

“Well, they get to know who their police officers are,” Sult said. “They got to have trust in their police department.”

Myers says with trust, comes being able to solve more crimes.

“We will never finish learning and applying new techniques and looking at new strategies,” Myers added.

Myers and Sult say they travel a lot together. They say it gives them a change to bounce new ideas off each other.

“On the ride back from the meeting, we are able to kick around ideas,” Myers said.

“It speaks volumes that we are traveling together and we are attending together, but I think it is just the White House underscoring the importance of this initiative,” Sult added.

Sult was also asked to give a presentation on his department’s “Open Data Project”.  Sult says it is all about releasing as much data at possible to the community.

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