HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — As the summer continues, 10 On Your Side checked in with Hampton Police Chief Mark Talbot to find out the division’s plans to combat violence during a time when crime rates typically spike.

He’s the latest to sit down with 10 On Your Side as part of a series of conversations with other local police chiefs, including interviews with Newport News Police Chief Steve Drew and former Portsmouth Police Chief Renado Prince.

“We have a very thoughtful approach to doing police work,” he said.

It’s an approach that utilizes a number of factors to address public safety.

“The rate of violence, the concentration of quality of life problems, and the persistence of any particular complaints that we’re getting from members of the community,” explained Talbot.

Talbot says crime rates in Hampton happen to tell a positive story so far this summer, but he says they need community feedback to keep trends going in a positive direction.

“It is moving in a positive direction in terms of we’re seeing reductions in some important places,” he said.

Chief Talbot says non-fatal shootings are down from this time in 2021. Matter of fact, he says overall violence is down in Hampton from this time last year.

Since the pandemic began, however, this is the first summer where most people will be out in public spaces – meaning policing during the summer slightly shifts.

“The shift would be one that […] maps on to the increased sharing of public spaces that you see during warm weather months,” said Talbot.

One potential area of concern are the beaches, specifically the ones on Fort Monroe. It stems from when a woman was shot during a fight in a parking lot, causing the National Park Service to implement a 6 p.m. curfew for Fort Monroe beaches, impacting businesses like Paradise Ocean Club throughout June.

The curfew ended this past weekend and Chief Talbot says even when the curfew was in place, he didn’t think violence would plague the area.

“There’s nothing that I’m seeing there that makes me think violence will be a part of what happens at Paradise Ocean Club moving forward,” said Talbot. “I’m very optimistic about the prospects of a safe time there just like in the rest of the city.”

But to promote safety throughout the city, he says they need the public’s help.

“We will be effective to the degree that we’re engaged with each other,” said Talbot.

He says the biggest role the community plays is sharing what their experience is like in their neighborhoods, especially once police patrols leave neighborhoods.

“Their role really is to let us know what that experience is like,” he said. “What do you feel when you are in public spaces, in your neighborhood, out at particular events? Where do you feel safe? Where don’t you feel safe?”

Chief Talbot says they need a deep understanding of a few conditions in neighborhoods to proactively stop crime.

“Concentration of violence, the inflection or the increase or decrease in the numbers in any particular neighborhood and why those numbers are moving in the direction that they’re moving,” he said.

And Talbot says the summer months are no exception.

“While there are more people out and about, we need to be in those places. We need to be in front of the conditions that might be conducive to violence,” he said.