PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Economic development is always a major portion of state of the city addresses, but Mayor Shannon Glover also talked a fair amount about crime. He says the solution must be a team effort.

“Let me be clear — we must reverse the trend on violent crime, and there is no quick fix,” Glover told the gathering of more than 500 at the Renaissance Portsmouth-Norfolk Waterfront Hotel.

Like cities across Hampton Roads, Portsmouth has seen its police officers get busier in recent months.
A teacher was shot on her way to work, three people were shot on Frederick Boulevard, and a person was shot dead on Florida Avenue. Glover is calling on all Portsmouth stakeholders to be part of the solution.

“We challenge Portsmouth citizens, faith-based organizations, social, business and civic organizations to work with us to implement programs and services to break the cycle of violent crime in our city,” he said.

Glover says he will implement strategies such as Project Safe Neighborhoods, and the city manager and staff will meet regularly with civic leagues to get the pulse of their communities.

Meanwhile, Glover says he hears a strong heartbeat from the local economy. In his words, “Dirt is flying all over town” in the form of 65 new ongoing private projects.

“With these new developments come new jobs. 850 new positions within the last year alone,” he said.

And then there’s Portsmouth’s largest bid for a better seat at the economic table – the Rivers Casino rising from the intersection of Interstate 264 and Victory Boulevard.

“It will create more than 1,200 permanent jobs and establish a new entertainment district right here in the City of Portsmouth,” and Glover said we can expect to see the casino open in the early portion of next year.

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