NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — The Newport News Police Department is making the most of technology to reach out to residents. Every month, Chief Steve Drew uses Facebook to chat about current issues.
“Good afternoon everyone,” Drew said at the start of the live Chat with the Chief. “I apologize for being a few minutes late.”
Technology is changing the way we all live, and it’s no different for police.
“I want you to know that I care about you,” Drew added. “This department cares about you.”
To reach out to residents, Drew started the chats late last year, and the audience is continuing to grow.
“If 54 people logged in to watch, that it’s more than I ever had at a community meeting,” Drew said. “People have a lot of questions and concerns. I think sometimes people are just too afraid to call in and ask.”
Monday’s Facebook Live covered topics such as crime, police staffing and security at high school football games.
“We are going to have a strong focus on community policing with an emphasis on our youth,” Drew told the viewers.
Drew responds to every comment that comes in. The hour a month doesn’t seem like much, but Drew tell us it is making a difference.
“I think things like this have already helped cut down on crime,” he said.
According to the latest numbers, crime is down 8% in the city compared to this time last year.
“I think in law enforcement we have not always done a good job in explaining why,” Drew added. “I think this is a tool that helps us explain that and says this is what we are going to be doing.”
Drew’s next Chat with the Chief will take place October 15.