Attorney general to kick off public safety tour this week

Attorney general to visit Newport news as port of public safety tour

Attorney General Mark R. Herring will visit Newport News this week as part of a public safety tour to improve relationships between citizens and law enforcement.

Herring will be at the Hampton Roads Criminal Justice Training Academy at 10 a.m. on Tuesday. Last fall, Herring announced the "dual-track training initiative," intended to provide officers with additional skills and tactics to deal with potentially confrontational situations.

The initiative falls in line with President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, which is aimed at reducing crime and building public trust. The president's task force was formed in December 2014 after several high-profile police shootings.

Herring said the training sessions will focus on bias awareness, professionalism, de-escalation tactics, appropriate use of force and impartial policing.

"Virginia law enforcement should have the best, most up-to-date evidence-based training and advance skills that can build trust, ... bring communities and their police departments closer together, make communities safer and ultimately save lives of both citizens and officers," Herring said when announcing the initiative in September.

Herring said the training will be funded by his office's budget and will not cost the individual cities that participate. The other part of the training will be through the police academy. Herring said his office will ensure that all law enforcement academies have modern and consistent materials.

Restoration of rights clinic

A restoration of rights clinic will be held March 21 in Newport News.

The clinic will provide information on how violent and nonviolent citizens who have returned to the community can apply to have their rights restored, according to a news release. The clinic will include a question-and-answer session and one-on-one assistance with completing applications and reviewing documents.

The clinic is hosted by the Hampton-Newport News Criminal Justice Agency. Attendees are encouraged to bring laptops, tablets or cellphones.

The free clinic will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the C. Waldo Scott Center at 3100 Wickham Ave.

For more information, contact Vickie Williams at 757-816-4478 or at vickierwilliams@opndoor.com.

Speed can be reached by phone at 247-4778.

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