Purcellville Protest 3

Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser speaks to local protesters in June 2020.

The Town of Purcellville is considering implementing a Community Policing Advisory Committee, an effort spearheaded by a group of local residents including former Town Councilman Nedim Ogelman.

Purcellville Mayor Kwasi Fraser told the Times-Mirror that he supports the concept as a way to bridge the gap between the police department and all sectors of the community.

“I see this as an opportunity to establish an open culture between the police department and the community,” Fraser said. “We are missing the continuous flow of ideas and recommendations and see this as participation in how we run the police department and overall government.”

Fraser stressed he would like to see a good cross-section of people representing Purcellville on the committee.

The idea of a Community Policing Advisory Committee is part of the recent national movement to raise awareness of police brutality and excessive force following the death of George Floyd and others around the country.

Councilman Ted Greenly said while he believes it is a good idea, he thinks Purcellville already has an open culture.

“The question is, ‘What are we trying to fix?’” Greenly said. “The idea itself is not too shabby, it’s worthy of a look. Many of the [police reform] ideas are for big cities, and we don’t seem to have these problems in town. Citizens are telling me there is nothing wrong with our police department.”

Councilman Tip Stinnette said he will always support community engagement.

“The heavier lift is bounding what exactly we want the [committee] to do and advise on. That is the next step in the process following the passage of the resolution,” Stinnette said.

Stinnette said the latest outline proposes that the committee have the authority to provide recommendations to reprioritize the distribution of funds within the police department and the redirection of police funding to other community-based programs.

The outline further directs the committee to hold town officials accountable when they reject the committee’s advice, he said.

“As a town, I think we need to be careful as we bound the roles and missions of the [committee] with an eye toward what is in the best interest of maintaining the safety and welfare of community,” Stinnette said.

A committee of town residents — including Ogelman, Molly Magoffin, a recent graduate of the University of Virginia and Loudoun Valley High School alum, and residents John Payne, Zach Franco and Pastor Dave Milam of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church — have been working on the proposed charter.

Town staff will then provide both a charter and updated ordinance for Town Council to consider and discuss.

After a demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement in Purcellville earlier this summer, Magoffin sent an email encouraging Town Council to consider Campaign Zero’s “8 Can’t Wait” policies among other potential police reforms. The campaign is aimed at proactively preventing excessive use of force against citizens and addressing unjust policing practices.

Magoffin hopes the committee will provide a way for everyone in town to have their views on policing heard and taken into consideration by Town Council.

She said above all else the goal is to provide an avenue for communication between citizens, Town Council and the police department.

“I don’t think that the creation of the committee itself will necessarily lead to any reforms, but it could support a reform process if a call for change comes from the community. I hope it will be a catalyst for change in that it will encourage everyone in Purcellville to get involved in communicating how they want the town to be policed so that our town’s policing can be as community-driven as possible,” Magoffin told the Times-Mirror.

Purcellville Police Chief Cindy McAlister said she believes in sharing information and educating the community with how the police department operates.

“There is a lot of mystery in what we do and a whole lot goes on that people do not know about,” she said.

McAlister is hoping she will have a seat at the table in planning the new committee.

“Truly I am available to anyone at anytime. I want to be approachable. Having the opportunity to educate and hear what they would like the police department to do for their community is good,” she added.

Mayor Fraser said the process to adopt the new committee will require an ordinance change and public hearing, which will likely be held Sept. 8.

(31) comments

Petegolf1

How about just obeying the laws and you wont have to worry about a police car pulling you over.

LetsBreal

This should be covered in a local paper...

Suspected [Virginia] rapist who was freed due to coronavirus kills his accuser in Virginia, police say....

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/local/virginia/rape-suspect-washington-post-alexandria-crime/65-13310ff6-43bf-444d-acc3-e229d7699b6b

Loudoun4Trump

Read it.....they can thank nolan dawkins for this murder, this incompetent judge now has blood on his hands - I hope he is sued personally for allowing a hardened criminal free to kill an innocent victim...

Abbyl7714

So basically a way of defunding the police department but saying the community did it. Nice work on covering that one up. Hope you sleep good at night.

Lawman

Good job Mayor Fraser. The Racist keep hating but you keep winning because you continue to make that Town a great place to live. Pay no attention to these idiots commenting here, your Revolution is being televised sir. When enough white people are whining you know you doing something right.

RoundHillGuy

It was majority white people who elected him, then re-elected him. If Racists were hating him, he would not be Mayor. So you racism narrative falls short again. As for your revolution, good luck with that.

Rasputin

What a joke. There is no need for this kind of nonsense.

RandomName2019

Every decision made by the Town of Purcellville just reinforces that they need to unincorporate and stop taxing and wasting their residents money...

Chris McHale

Purceville's involvement with policing what could possibly go wrong? Perhaps they can select Georgia Nuckolls.

Not4Long

All of this stuff is just going to start to get good officers leaving policing for other professions and jurisdictions will be forced to hire young inexperienced replacements causing even more issues. If you've ever ridden with an officer for some time you'll learn quickly that most of them are pretty smart and know who the bad actors are and where the bad actions are taking place in their jurisdictions. You have a few bad apples in every profession but I don't see us calling for community advisor committees for every one of them....

tolerantleft

Nothing political here, an unelected bureaucrat will obvious sit of this committee for a problem that doesn't seem to exist is Purcellville.

I'm curious, has anyone seen the unedited footage of George Floyd before is arrest an unfortunate death? Really changes the Left's narrative.

LoudounPulse

"Community Policing Advisory Committee"??? Why not just turn over the Chief of Police job in Purcellville to being an elected position by the community vs. an appointed position by the Mayor? This way, the "Community" will vote on whomever they want to run their law enforcement. That would be the ultimate Community Policing Advisory Committee.

Fiscalconservative

This is a bad idea - you have citizens overseeing the police and yet they do not have police training. How can you oversee something you know nothing about. They won;t know police procedures, they will react emotionally not methodically, I can not think of any business that has someone oversee it and not know anything about procedures. The Town of Purcellville has many problems such as several lawsuits, ever increasing utility costs and a shrinking meal tax revenue. Their time would be better spent on resolving their existing problems than deflecting from them and trying to make another problem. In addition they REALLY need term limits for all their elected officials.

Police11

Purcellville Police need a major overhaul i am pro police always have been always will but before moving to this town i would consistently come across 2 major issues when researching this town the water prices and the police dept. With such a small dept why are they riddled with so many problems and lawsuits. I have never been a fan of small local depts like Purcellville that are open to corruption and abuse. Looudoun County sheriffs dept with a station right in roundhill is more then capable of doing the job that Purcellville is doing and probably better. Why should a town already over taxed have to pay for multiple lawsuits, gear,training and equipment when we have a county dept.

KK153

all of that research and knowledge and yet you still moved to P Ville? weird...

LoCo Bob

Riddled with lawsuits? The Mayor and TC picked Vanegas to be the Town Manager and then he hired his Girlfriend. That is what started the lawsuits. And as for Small Local Depts being open to corruption and abuse...Have you ever heard of the NYPD?

Police11

So the police chief filing a lawsuit and winning millions another cop refiling a 9 million dollar lawsuit and then a 3 million dollar law suit paid out for a shooting like i said riddled with lawsuits not sure what your confused about.

LoCo Bob

I am not confused. POOR Management and Leadership of the Town resulted in the lawsuits.

And good luck waiting for the S.O. has their response time in the Western part of the County for a 9-11 call is about 10 minutes.

Voltaire

LocoBob—the statement made by Police11 about corruption in small local police departments is valid. Scholars in urban affairs/local government have acknowledged that smaller municipalities are more prone to experience corruption. That includes small town police departments. In 2008, the Obama Administration conducted an assessment of American policing and found that these small forces have intensified problems of “organizational quality control.” Like local government in general, there are several types of political corruption that occur including bribery, extortion, embezzlement, graft, nepotism, and patronage systems. Local government is more susceptible to corruption because interactions between private individuals and officials happen at greater levels of intimacy and frequency at more decentralized levels. In a small community, personal opinions and relationships play a larger role in politics. Due to this, problems like nepotism and extortion can be prevalent. There may also be insufficient structures for accountability within small municipalities.

The comparison between the Purcellville Police Department and the New York Police Department is flawed. A comparison between the PPD and the NYPD is comparing apples and oranges. The PPD, according to its Annual Report 2019, has sixteen sworn police officers. This total includes the Police Chief, Deputy Chief, Patrol Operations Lieutenant as well as two non-sworn employees: an administrative assistant/records manager and a policy and accreditation manager. In contrast, the NYPD, as of July 2020, has a current authorized uniformed strength is 35,783. There are also 19,454 civilian employees, including approximately 4,500 auxiliary police officers, 5,500 school safety agents and 3,500 traffic enforcement agents currently employed by the NYPD. There is also a vast difference between the area of jurisdiction for the PPD and the NYPD. The PPD is responsible for the Town of Purcellville which has a total area of 3.4 square miles and a population, according to the United States Census Bureau, 10,561 people. In contrast, the NYPD is responsible for the City of New York which has a total area of 468.484 square miles and an estimated population 8.7 Million.

As to combating corruption, this comparison is also flawed. The PPD, based on its organization chart in its 2019 Annual Report, does not have any mechanism to conduct internal reviews. In contrast, the NYPD has multiple oversight units responsible for the investigation/adjudication/prosecution of corruption. The NYPD oversight units include the following organizations: (1) NYPD Inspector General; (2) New York Commission to Combat Police Corruption; (3) NYC Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB); (4) NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau.

LoCo Bob

Corruption is Corruption. Big, or small governments. That is the point. NYPD has been 1 of the most corrupt Depts in the World as large scale corruption investigations go back as far as the 1890's thro to the Knapp Commission and CCCP.

Are you giving a pass to large organizations?

Corruption is Corruption.

Voltaire

Loco Bob—First, nobody is arguing about the definition of corruption. However, the nature of the corruption is conditional on the size of the law enforcement organization, and, in general, the level of government. You are trying to compare a small law enforcement organization (16 officers and responsibility of 3.4 sq. miles) to a law enforcement organization of a major metropolitan area (35,783 officers and responsibility for 468,484 square miles). That is not an accurate comparison. There will be differences in policing and internal accountability in a major metropolitan police force then a small city. Given that there are less layers of administration, small town police departments should do better in managing their personnel and preventing corruption. However, urban affairs scholars, as I have said earlier, stated that local governments, including small town police departments, are MORE prone to corruption than major metropolitan areas. If you do not agree with them, take the case up with them. It is also NOT accurate to continue to state that the NYPD is still corrupt. Not every member of the NYPD is corrupt. That is a blanket statement and is wrong.

WesternSky

Purcellville may be the only place where cutting the Police budget makes some sense. How many police cars are needed in town?

LoCo Bob

Enough so that the response time for a 911 call is as fast as possible. In the Western end of the County the average response time for the S.O. is all most 12 minutes.

Voltaire

LocoBob--speed is not the only variable that emergency services have to take into account on an emergency (Code 3) call. Police units, on a Code 3 call, are supposed to proceed to the call as fast but also as safely as possible. As to the issue with the response time of the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office, it is important to remember that they are responsible for more area than 3.4 square miles that makes up the Town of Purcellville.

LoCo Bob

Staffing is the number cause for lack of a quick response times. Properly staffed and placed is the key to acceptable response times.

LoCo Bob

Speed is the only variable that counts when a LEO is responding to an emergency call. If they don't get there in time then what good are they?

These terrible response times surly indicates that the Sheriff does not properly staff the West End of the County.

Voltaire

Loco Bob—According to the law enforcement website, American Police Beat, 10 minutes is average in the United States. Studies show that major metropolitan areas such as Atlanta, Detroit, Denver, Houston have a range of 9-13 minute response times. So, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office response time is comparable to the national average and fellow law enforcement organizations within major metropolitan areas. No, there are more variables involved in handling a Code 3 call than just speed. They have to be considerate of the environment and respond safely. They are not going to be able to respond to your call for service if they are taken out of service due to collision with a civilian vehicle or tree, will they? Also, most law enforcement organizations, including the LCSO, have a response schedule that ranks different types of emergencies from low to high. Top priority always will go to callers who are in need of assistance due to a life-threatening emergency. Additional factors also include (1) the number of incoming calls at the time of your call; (2) number of officers available to respond; (3) number of officers needed to respond to your specific situation. It is the responsibility of the County Sheriff to determine where he places his resources to cover the law enforcement function for the ENTIRE county, not just the western area of Loudoun County. He does this through analysis of crime data and other data sources.

More Cowbell

Anyone put on this committee should be made to ride around with police for 20 hours per week. Only way they'll see what's going on is first hand, up front. Not reading about it from a 1 sided news media or video from cell phone.

LetSanityPrevail

That is an excellent suggestion. It would give those on the committee first hand knowledge.

LoCo Bob

This is by far the most pressing issue in Purcellville. Oh wait, maybe not....

What about a loss of revenue from the meal tax?

What about rising water/sewer rates?

What about aging infrastructure?

romano

a solution in search of a problem, all for optics. Shameless pandering to the radical forces of political correctness attacking the nation.

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