NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News neighborhood had a strong police presence Friday afternoon — but the officers weren’t responding to an emergency call.

The NNPD officers walked the streets in an effort to boost community interaction and vigilance.

Police Chief Steve Drew hosted a walk-and-talk event. It’s the latest in a series of neighborhood visits during a time that can be isolating for many

“We talk about getting out of our cars, and getting off of our bicycles, and certainly getting out of our offices and [interacting] with the citizens that we’re supposed to be protecting and interacting with. I think there’s no better way to do that than walking the streets where they live,” Drew said.

Holding true to their word, a group of officers strolled the streets near Beechmont Drive and Lucas Creek Road Friday evening.

It’s one of three spots in the city the department is focusing on. Officers have already visited the South Morrison and Marshall Court areas. 

“We’ve had some issues here and I just want to take a look for myself and interact with citizens if they’d like to,” Drew said. 

He tells 10 On Your Side the mobile meet-and-greets give them a chance to connect with the community. Officers said they want to provide a sense of trust, especially during such an unpredictable year.

“I think it’s extremely important — probably more important than ever — because people are really unsure about what’s going on right now,” said Michael Fulcher, one of the department’s newest officers. “Having a stable law enforcement in your community is an important thing.”

The work is already paying off.

“I’m seeing good reductions in the three neighborhoods we’re focusing on,” Drew said. 

The department hopes to keep the momentum going.

“We’re here for them. We’re not here just to give anybody a hard time. We’re here for them and we’re here to help them,” Fulcher said.

If you’re interested in having a walk-and-talk event in your neighborhood, give the department a call.

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