Norfolk PD ‘Guns Down’ event aims to get residents and police talking

Taking Back the Community

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — When it comes to gun violence in Norfolk neighborhoods, Police Chief L.D. Boone wants to get people talking.

He’s organizing an event series titled “Guns Down” — community conversations about gun violence and gun ownership.

The first event comes Sunday, June 30 in Olde Huntersville. It will be held at the Huntersville Recreation Center on Goff Street at 6 p.m.

Fula Barnes, who lives in that neighborhood, says “It’s always sad to know a kid that you watched grow up is gone, and you can feel the parents’ pain.”

Josh Rout tells 10 On Your Side he would like to see a greater police presence in his neighborhood.”If the police were out here more, we wouldn’t have so much gun violence out here.”

Olde Huntersville was one of the Hampton Roads neighborhoods 10 On Your Side investigated last fall as having several, unsolved homicides in recent years.

In that previous report, Boone acknowledged that the Olde Huntersville neighborhood has seen a lot of gang activity — especially in 2016.

He also said it was his department’s task to build trust among area residents.

Martha Rout lives on Lexington Street, and says Sunday’s “Guns Down” conversation could be a turning point for their community.

“I think it would make a difference if people would step up and talk out loud rather than say things to themselves,” Rout said. “We need to get out and say it to each other, and I think that would work.”

After the Olde Huntersville event, the department will host similar ones in the Berkley, Norview and Ocean View neighborhoods in the next five weeks.

A department spokesman says the Norfolk “Guns Down” movement is not connected in any way with the national political organization known as “Guns Down America.”

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