Newport News’ police chief plans to add new division that focuses on youth

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NEWPORT NEWS, Va (WAVY) — Newport News’ police chief has announced he plans to create a new division within the department focusing on connecting with youth in the community.

“September 1, this police department is going to look very different,” said Chief Steve Drew. “I have to focus more on reaching the youth.”

A new division Drew hopes to create would take a diverse group of 20 officers and dedicate them solely to working to improve relations with the city’s youth, businesses and faith leadership.

“For example, maybe a police athletic league,” Drew said. “This is too big of a city and there are too many youth here to not have a program that lasts the summer.”

Drew made the comments Monday at his first community meeting, held at the new Piggly Wiggly grocery store on Jefferson Avenue. Nearly 50 members of the community attended the more than hour-long session.

“Everybody in here should know that crime is down, everybody should know that our homicide numbers are dropping,” Drew said. He pointed out that the last month and a half saw only 1 new homicide investigation. The month prior to his arrival saw 5.

Community members also had the chance to bring their own concerns.   

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