Chip Johnson: Richmond Actually Working

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We're extremely pleased to pass along Chip Johnson's latest column, in which he details how Richmond's Police Department has become more creative, clever, and responsive to people's needs. It's the whole broken windows/community policing thing, except that under Chief Chris Magnus, it's actually worked. In 2007, overall violent crime dropped 14 percent, while homicides dropped 40 percent. The homicide clearance rate rose threefold, to more than 50 percent. Magnus, who replaced the useless Joe Samuels three years ago, is an interesting guy: an aw-shucks drink of water who came from Fargo, North Dakota to police one of the toughest cities in America. Although Johnson doesn't report the 2008 numbers, it's nice to know that so far, it seems to be working.

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