The City of Lynchburg has been notified that the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) is the recipient of this year’s Virginia Municipal League’s (VML) Quality of Life Award. The award recognizes the department’s Community Action Team (CAT) and its successful community engagement activities.
The Quality of Life Award is one of five Innovation Awards recognizing local governments in Virginia for outstanding achievements and is recognized as Virginia’s highest honor in local government creativity. In addition to Quality of Life, awards are given in Communications, Environmental Quality, Lifelong Learning, and Community and Economic Development. The awards will be presented at the 2018 VML Annual Conference in Hampton in October.
Award Entry Summary: QUALITY OF LIFE
Recognizing a rise in distrust in minority communities across the country, the Lynchburg Police Department (LPD) created the Community Action Team (CAT) to develop and nurture working relationships with the local government agencies, businesses and citizens of Lynchburg. CAT officers are uniquely positioned to address these issues because they do not answer radio calls and can focus on community policing. The creation of CAT did not require any budget allocations, instead it relies upon existing community resources to accomplish its mission of addressing citizen concerns while maintaining positive relationships and building trust in the community it serves. In one instance, following a shooting in a neighborhood, CAT officers canvassed the neighborhood and provided support to the LPD. This engagement resulted in the improved understanding of the citizens’ needs and resulted in dramatically lower crime-related activity in the area. Lynchburg’s CAT is truly an example of local law enforcement putting the community first.
The Virginia Municipal League is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association of city, town and county governments established to improve and assist local governments through legislative advocacy, research, education and other services. For more information about the Innovation Awards, visit www.vml.org/education/innovation-awards/.