Richmond, Va, Aug. 2, 2017 —
The Chesterfield community sees them driving around behind the fenced gates of Defense Supply Center Richmond, Virginia. They wear the same badge and uphold the same laws as the other local policing agencies, but who are these mysterious officers defending the peace of the installation? The Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond’s police introduced their agency to the community during Chesterfield County’s National Night Out at the Bensley Park and Community Building Aug 1.
“We border on everyone’s back yard,” said Chad Tearne, chief of police, DLA Installation Support at Richmond. “They see us every day through the fence, but they can’t come on the installation, so we really wanted to bring what was inside the gate outside of the gate to the community.”
The community event brought together all of the local policing bodies in the greater Richmond area to reach out to the community, discuss safety and build camaraderie.
“This is great for the community as a whole and all of the policing bodies,” said Tearne. “We can bond with our policing partners while reaching out to the community. This is a win for everyone.”
The DLA police set up a station to distribute ChildPrint ID kits and “deputized” young citizens with plastic DLA badges to uphold safe practices such as calling 9-1-1 when there is an emergency.
“Our department thought it would be valuable to purchase some child ID kits,” said Tearne. “These kits include everything you need if the unthinkable happens and your child goes missing.” He explained the kits included a bag for hair and saliva samples as well as dental records and fingerprints.
The event included entertainment, ranging from live music to clown shows, for the community and police to bond over. DLA Installation Support at Richmond’s police Sgt. Ernest Clayborn has attended several of the annual National Night Outs in chesterfield and expressed how it still feels amazing to see the community support and involvement in the event.
“This is a great annual event,” said Clayborn. “I love being able to talk to the community and just have fun. Events like this breakdown barriers and build trust, and that’s important for everyone’s safety.”