RICHMOND (KCBS) — Last year, the city of Richmond had the lowest number of homicides in four decades.

The city’s chief of police, Chris Magnus talked to KCBS about crime-fighting strategies for the New Year. He has made community policing a cornerstone of his department’s work.

Police in this city have built a strong working relationship with community groups, residents and faith-based organizations.

Richmond Family Festival (City of Richmond)

Richmond Family Festival (City of Richmond)


Despite the success Magnus said he’s already thinking about things that need to be refined in 2015.

“The relationship between residents of color and police are not as good as they need to be, so one of the things, we are looking forward to in the year ahead are more opportunities for bridge-building, dialogue and education,” he said. “That’s really the way we build trust, and trust is a key part of the relationship.”

In 2014, Richmond recorded 11 homicides. The worst year was 1990 when 62 people lost their lives in bloody violence.

Chief Magnus said he’s always looking for ways to improve crime-fighting techniques. He said a combination of strategy and a little luck has played a role in keeping a lid on violent crime.

“The idea is to work with other agencies and departments around the country to share best practices and figure out how we can all benefit from what folks are trying in different places,” said Magnus. “We don’t claim to have all the answers.”

Richmond Homefront Festival (City of Richmond)

Richmond Homefront Festival (City of Richmond)


Still, these latest statistics are a sign the city is doing the right thing. The chief is very pleased with the progress the department has made in reducing the level of violence on the streets.

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