Richmond Police Department (California)

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Richmond Police Department
Agency overview
Legal personalityGovernmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionRichmond, California, United States
General nature
Headquarters1701 Regatta Blvd.

Agency executive
  • Allwyn Brown, Chief
Richmond Police Website
A Richmond police officer and car

The Richmond Police Department or RPD is a public safety and law enforcement agency founded in 1910 that is in charge of protecting and safeguarding the city of Richmond, California.[1] The city has struggled with serious violent crime for decades and is often described as crime ridden and as one of the "rougher" parts of the San Francisco Bay Area; in fact, in 2010 the city was the sixth most dangerous in the nation.[1][2][3][4][5]


The department was founded in 1910 and celebrated its hundredth anniversary in 2010.[1]

In 2011 the force came under scrutiny due to a federal probe investigating the hiring of two of the city's "explorers" (members of a Junior Police program) by a private security firm operated by the police officers that illegally armed the young men and sent them to patrol city streets.[6][7][8] The FBI is investigating the case, which concerns events that occurred from 2004 to 2011.[7][6][8] The news has reported that once the former explorers came through with their allegations that their former mentors hired prostitutes or strippers into attempting to coax them into driving drunk in order to jail them for DUI as retaliation.[8][7][6]


Richmond Police Department Police Activities League (PAL) is an organization created by the department as part of its community policing efforts to reduce crime and build trust with the community.[9] It also serves to get kids off the streets and to expose them to positive outlets such as sports and good male role models.[9] The PAL maintains an annual "Shop With A Cop" event and in 2011 that meant a $110 per child shopping spree to the Target store in the Macdonald 80 Shopping Center.[9] The kids are transported in cop cars and limousines and are allowed to pick any items they want.[9] The funding is primarily from officer's own pockets, with a 10% boost and sales tax covered by Target this particular year.[9]


The department's main police station is located at in the Marina Bay District and was recently renovated and is LEED certified.[10]


The department has implemented gunfire sensor technology. The system of strategically placed acoustic sensors can detect the sounds of cocking, triggers, shooting, and rounds hitting the ground in addition to geolocating the direction from where it came.[10]

RPD is also installing high tech CCTV cameras in high crime areas to monitor public areas for violence.[10]

Staff and operations[edit]

The police chief until 2016 was Chris Magnus, scouted from the Fargo, North Dakota, police department in a national search.[10] He is credited with lowering both the murder rate and Richmond's placement on the list of most dangerous cities in America for his community policing model promoted by Gayle McGlaughlin.[11]

In August 2010, the department was criticized for having eight officers make over $100,000 in overtime wages.[3]

The department is broken into three districts each further divided into beats.[12] The Northern district covers Eastern Richmond (beat 7), the El Sobrante and May Valleys (beat 9) in addition to the Hilltop and Parrchester Village areas (beat 8), generally the areas east of 23rd street and north of Ohio Avenue.[12] The Southern district covers Point Richmond, Point Molate, the Chevron Richmond Refinery area, Marina Bay (beat 1), and the Richmond Annex (beat 3) in addition to the South of Downtown Area (beat 2).[12] It is generally defined as the areas west of Garrard Boulevard and south of Ohio Avenue.[12] Finally the Central district covers the area surrounding Downtown and the notoriously crime ridden Iron Triangle, bounded by Ohio Avenue, Garrard Street, 23rd Street and the city limits with unincorporated North Richmond, in addition to an exclave surrounding the city dump.[12] The Central district has three beats, beat 4 east of Carlson Boulevard, beat 6 south of Barrett Avenue and beat 5 north of Barrett Avenue plus the dump.[12]


  1. ^ a b c RPD main page
  2. ^ East Bay cities ranked among most dangerous in U.S., Bay City News Services. Contra Costa Times. November 23, 2010. Retrieved November 24, 2010.
  3. ^ a b Top managers in Mountain View, Santa Clara earn top dollar compared to peers in larger San Jose, by John Woolfolk, Diana Samuels, Bay Area News Group/San Jose Mercury News, August 8th, 2010, accessed August 8th, 2010
  4. ^ Kelly Rayburn (26 November 2009). "Report pegs Oakland with country's 3rd highest crime rate; Richmond ranked 14th". Oakland Tribune. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  5. ^ Henry K. Lee, Kevin Fagan (29 October 2009). "5 now in custody in Richmond High gang rape". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
  6. ^ a b c Cops investigated for gun buying scandal. Cecilia Vega. KGO-TV/ABC News. 05-04-2011. Retrieved 07-04-2011.
  7. ^ a b c Richmond officers accused of arming teens for private security business. Karl Fisher. Contra Costa Times. 05-04-2011. Retrieved 07-04-2011.
  8. ^ a b c Former Richmond chief: I never OKd security firm. San Francisco Chronicle. 2011. Retrieved 07-04-2011.
  9. ^ a b c d e Richmond kids ‘Shop with a Cop’, Robert Rogers, Richmond Confidential, 17-12-2011, access date 25-12-2011
  10. ^ a b c d Public Safety Police Department
  11. ^ Richmond Pulse, "Gayle McGlaughlin Richmond's grassroots trailblazer has her eye on state capitol, August 2017]
  12. ^ a b c d e f Richmond Policing Sectors map, City of Richmond website

External links[edit]