HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) - After a recent spike in violence, Hampton Police aim to have more patrols on neighborhood streets.
It has been a violent summer in Hampton, starting with the carnival in May. After a teen was shot and killed near the Hampton Carnival, police decided they needed a change.
"We want to stop crime before it gets started," said one Hampton officer.
Residents say they're scared.
"Most of the time, I don't even [go] outside," added resident Janice Hodges. "Right now I'm outside and now I'm getting ready to back in the house."
The violence prompted police to hit the streets and go door to door. Police began a new neighborhood initiative. They are flooding the streets with officers one area at a time.
"It's a comprehensive complex problem and it's going to take a comprehensive complex set of solutions," added Hampton Police Chief Tom Townsend.
"I didn't see [anybody], I just heard the shots," said Naomi Battle.
Battle was inside her Childs Avenue home in early July when where her two, great grandchildren were wounded in a drive-by shooting. There still has not been an arrest in the case.
"[The] bullets [had no] names on them when they start shooting," Battle added.
Hampton police say the key to fighting crime is being visible. The division is using its mobile command center to make sure everyone knows they are there.
"It allows us to take headquarters out of headquarters and move it out here," added Hampton Police Corporal Mark Kincaid.
The command center will move from street to street and serve as a giant billboard of safety. Though homicides are up, Townsend says the streets are safe.
"Even with the recent spike in homicides we have had here over the past several months, our crime rate is very low compared to other cities of like size," Townsend said.
Hampton Police say their goal is to cut down crime.
There have been 13 homicides in 2013 compared with only four at this time in 2012.
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