Chesapeake community members advocate for violence deterrence programs after spike in deadly crime

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) – After three deadly shootings in the same area of Chesapeake over the last few weeks, residents say the time to deter and prevent violence is past due.

The Forest Cove Apartments is a little over three miles away from the Hunter’s Point Apartments.

Deadly shootings have impacted both complexes multiple times recently, however, there have been three in the last week.

President Terrell Cuffee of the Campostella Square Civic League spoke up about the need for change during Chesapeake’s City Council meeting Tuesday night.

“If a majority of us cared enough, then more of us would make it,” he said.

He and other community members say the way to address recent violence is by properly utilizing existing resources to create neighborhood programs.

“You gave us a gym, but you didn’t give us structure and discipline. You just said, ‘Here, go play basketball. Here, just run out the streets.’  But [we] also need instruction,” he said.

Cuffee says police officers patrolling certain areas has proven to be a useful deterrence in the past, especially when community members get to know them.

“Can you please put these police officers back in these communities, back in your neighborhoods? Because the violence is all over, but it starts from those small areas,” he said.

Chesapeake Police Chief Kelvin Wright says has been a challenge because of the pandemic and general perceptions of police.

“People may have perceptions about the police and how they do business, but for us, we need to be able to demonstrate that we are worthy of their trust, worthy of their connectivity, and worthy of being partners with them to improve life in the community,” he said.

Regardless of the order, Cuffee says it’s time for people to come together and understand the impacts of violence have no boundaries.

“We don’t want to look like we’re trying to save anything. We just want the community to have opportunities and if it takes for us to do it ourselves, we’ll do it. But, however, we must play a part in whatever that role is cause the community has to learn to help itself,” he said.

The civic league is hosting a kickball game with Chesapeake police this Saturday at 11 a.m.

They hope the community can come out and realize the need to come together in order to minimize violence.

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