NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Well over 50 police officers descended on the Olde Huntersville neighborhood Wednesday afternoon in a search of better community relationships.
“We all got to get coordinated,” said Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone to a group of community activists gathered outside the Huntersville Recreation Center. “This is how we make change.”
Boone made the remarks after his officers walked alongside them in a “Community Walk” meant as a time to discuss crime and concerns with residents.
“This particular area, if you go back three or four years. We had some real serious challenges. We have been extremely fortunate this year that we have seen a significant crime reduction in every category,” Boone said. “But if you are a victim, you don’t care about data, you are the victim.”
Boone recently penned a letter to the city explaining that he believes Hampton Roads has a gun problem, especially when it comes to teens and kids contributing to gun crimes.
“We are going to be doing a lot of these this summer … we are going to be doing something more robust regarding gun violence,” Boone said.
Along with talking about crime prevention, officers picked up trash and stopped to have fun with neighbors. A young child was all smiles when an officer dribbled a basketball with him.
“That’s the goal,” Boone responded, “That’s one of the things we’ve been trying to really implement … and be authentic about it … folks know when you’re faking.”