PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Portsmouth Police were taking back two neighborhoods Monday afternoon with “RESET” walks following two homicides within 24 hours last week.
RESET is an acronym for “rapid engagement of support in the event of trauma.”
Portsmouth Police hold these walks after deadly shootings — or any sort of traumatic incident — to provide support to people in the community.
“Any time that we have an incident that occurs, whether it be a homicide or a shooting or just some incident that makes a huge impact in our community, we come out here,” said Portsmouth Police Sergeant Misty Holley.
“We offer services — that includes chaplain services, services through social services and behavioral health — and then find out what’s going on in the neighborhood to see if we can help facilitate any healing in the community, as well as address any quality of life issues.”
Officers first went door-to-door on Merrimac Drive in the Swanson Homes neighborhood. That’s where the fatal shooting happened Jan. 2. Police believe 28-year-old Dione Benson shot and killed 26-year-old Elijah Chavis.
Officers also walked around Lake Forest Court, where 30-year-old Eric Silver was shot and killed.
“Someone has lost their life,” Holley said. “Someone has lost a family member. It’s just — it’s really bad for the community, it hurts the community, it really digs down deep and you know they start thinking about things, and that’s why we are here. We want to make sure that we address any issues that they may have and find out what’s going on to see if we can prevent this from happening to someone else.”
Pastor Wilbur Douglass with Community Presbyterian Church took part in the walk Monday.
“I think it’s very important for the communities, especially the ones that are affected, to know that the police are here not just for the investigations and to solve a crime; they are here for the benefit of those residents around here, especially if they’ve been affected,” he said.
The shooting on Lake Forest Court is still under investigation. If you have any information that can help police, call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP or submit a tip through the P3 tips app.