Joint-Task Force Pitch dies out
By: Julie Batakis
A joint precinct manned by ODU and Norfolk City Police appears dead in the water after an anticipated $ 8.4 million in funding was not approved, according to Norfolk public relations.
Plans were in the works for several years for a joint precinct on Old Dominion campus where the Old Dominion Inn stands. It was to provide security for campus and surrounding areas where campus and Norfolk police could work side by side. It became a heated topic for debate in Norfolk city council.
The initial plans were pitched by city officials in 2009. Robert Fenning, the Vice President for ODU Administration and Finance agreed to take in $ 6 million dollars of the cost of renovations for the joint precinct. The idea initially gained favor from city leaders. Old Dominion had looked forward to the extra police presence to help with decrease crime rates around campus and decline resources in the area.
Councilman Paul R. Riddick, representing south side communities in the city of Norfolk disagreed saying, “The precinct would better serve being placed in the south side of the city.” In 2010 Riddick alleged that prejudice of class and race are the reasons behind the south side not being considered for the location for a new precinct.
This final decision is somewhat surprising, given the large amount of support the plan had received. It would appear that even President Broderick was expecting different results (check out his blog below from June of 2011).