Tag: Harrisonburg Police Department
As communities across the nation began more closely scrutinizing their police departments last year, so too is the city school district reevaluating Harrisonburg’s SROs – whether they should stay in the schools and, if so, what their roles and responsibilities should be. The officers — and data regarding incidents at schools — offer a glimpse into how Harrisonburg’s program operates.
People reported fewer crimes overall in Harrisonburg over the last year. And fewer defendants stayed in jail as they awaited trial. At the same time, though, many of those trials have been delayed, forcing the courts to put in overtime in order to catch up on the backlog of cases. Harrisonburg and Rockingham County’s criminal justice system — like many facets of life — has operated a little differently since the pandemic began, in some cases prompting prosecutors and judges to adapt and make exceptions they wouldn’t normally do.
The city’s next police chief needs to be community oriented to continue the success started by former Chief Eric English, said Michael Parks, the city’s director of communications, in a telephone interview. The start of that search is close, Parks said – but there’s no telling how long it will take.
The role of school resource officers in Harrisonburg City Public Schools will soon be up for debate in the public sphere, as a task force the district established to examine its contract with the Harrisonburg Police Department is planning a “listening tour” to gather community input. After providing opportunities for public input, the group will present a recommendation to the school board in May.
What’s it like in D.C. today? A Harrisonburg police officer who’s part of the Va. National Guard gives us a glimpse
More than 21,500 National Guard members are deployed across Washington, D.C., to provide security for today’s presidential inauguration of Joe Biden. Among their ranks is Harrisonburg Police Sgt. Scott Drugo, who is the Intelligence Officer & Gang Task Force supervisor.
For Black activists and leaders in the Valley, there’s more work the country must do toward achieving equality in America — that dream of which Martin Luther King, Jr. famously spoke. And that work continues today, as it did yesterday and will tomorrow in the far-too-slow bend toward justice.
Yes, we have lots of questions about how Harrisonburg will emerge on the other side of this pandemic. But there’s a lot more to ponder in the new year as well.
While local and regional activists have applauded law enforcement reforms the state legislature passed in October, those new measures might not change much for officers and residents in the Harrisonburg area because similar policies are already in place.