RADFORD – Radford University’s Center for Police Practice, Policy and Research seeks, according to its mission, to contribute to the betterment of policing.
Monday, the Center presented an award to Chief Scott C. Booth of the Danville Police Department as the centers’s 2020 Excellence in Policing award recipient.
“The annual award is given to a current sworn police officer, supervisor, commander or executive who is a leader in his or her agency and has been a champion for implementing innovative strategies that bring about change and improve policing,” according to a statement from the university.
Roberto Santos, Ph.D. and Rachel Santos, Ph.D., faculty in the department of criminal justice at Radford University and co-directors of the Center, presented the award to Booth and his department in front of local and regional leaders.
The mission of the Center is to “conduct evidence- and practice-based research, provide education and training, and contribute to the betterment of policing and the police profession. Center activities are grounded in partnerships and collaboration with police agencies and their communities. They include implementing and evaluating new and innovative strategies, providing training and technical assistance, and communicating research results and best practices through training, presentations, and publications. The center faculty are comprised of experts in police leadership, police/community relations, proactive crime reduction strategies, crime analysis, criminal law, and critical incident management.”
The Danville Police Department fits the bill for that mission through its approach to reducing one of the highest violent crime rates in Virginia, according to the university, showing sizable reductions in both property and violent crime rates.
“Booth credits implementing proactive crime reduction along with systematic community engagement activities for the decline in crime, while at the same time improving the department’s relationship with Danville’s citizens,” according to a statement by the university.
“Chief Booth is an exceptional police leader who has been able to guide his agency to successfully integrate successful crime reduction and building trust with the community,” said Roberto Santos. “It is leaders like Chief Booth who will advance policing to be more effective in the future.”
The DPD says it plans to continue its proactive crime reduction efforts, including a project to “prevent the escalation of domestic violence and increase victim safety through an innovative, proactive approach,”through a recent federal grant from the Community Policing Development Program.
“With this award, we really wanted to recognize Chief Booth for his strong and effective leadership, as well as the Danville Police Department, which has become a premier police agency in Virginia and in the United States,” said Rachel Santos.