NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A New Jersey organization hired by Norfolk says it believes it knows why the city has such a hard time keeping the peace.
In a briefing in front of Norfolk City Council Tuesday, members of the Newark Street Team say the longstanding historic issues facing the region, such as segregation and forced relocation for redevelopment, have had a long-term trauma in communities most impacted by crime.
The team also says a lack of victim services doesn’t help lead to prosecutions. For the summer, they immediately recommend the city to step up their investment in organizations looking to help.
NCST’s report identified key areas of improvement: victim services, school services, and housing.
A full report from the group on strategies the city should use will be coming in August. It includes the team’s recommendations and next steps, including the city’s investment in community-based public safety infrastructure and training for specific organizations in Norfolk expected to take place in August of this year as well as program design and implementation.
During the spring, the group conducted over 75 interviews with individual residents as well as community groups in the city in key areas that were identified based on police data. The interviews were with a wide variety of stakeholders who provided insights into the current violence; explained the efforts and resources available to address violence; and shared the history of the City.
Norfolk retained the group in early November of 2021.
The group, founded by Newark, New Jersey, Mayor Ras J. Baraka, aims to reduce violence by using an “evidence-based, trauma–informed approach.“
The Newark Community Street Team trains and employs non-traditional community leaders to reach youth and young adults who are at-risk.