NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — A Newport News neighborhood is taking back the community.
Days after a deadly shooting on July Fourth, police went back to the scene near 36th and Jefferson for a Community, Awareness, Reconnection, and Education (C.A.R.E.) walk.
Police say citizens helped them make an arrest in that case because people who live near the area came forward with information.
Just as they’ve done so many times before, Newport News police hit the pavement with hopes of building a better future.
“Our message today is just letting citizens know that we care about them. We’re here for them,” said Chief Steve Drew.
It’s been five days since 37-year-old Delvon Freeman died after he was shot at a Fourth of July cookout.
Although police have their suspect in custody, they said outreach to the community doesn’t stop when an arrest is made.
“Policing is half of our job, but getting in the community, that’s a vital and major role as far as being a police officer,” said Anthony Jones, a Newport News Police recruit who participated in the walk.
10 On Your Side spoke to a woman who didn’t want to speak on camera, however she said many who live in the neighborhood have concerns about safety and crime in the area but feel they’re not taken seriously.
“I have two kids. My kids, they are not able to — I don’t feel safe with them being out here because of different things that happen around here,” she said.
Other residents also declined to speak on camera out of fear.
Chief Drew said through these walks, they’re trying to change that and they’re making progress.
“We made that arrest because citizens came forward and told us what they heard and what they saw,” he said. “Citizens are calling more often and they’re calling quicker. I believe wholeheartedly that citizens are taking back their neighborhood.”
Chief Drew said his department still has a lot of work to do, but until then, they’ll keep walking.
“We do care about them. We are going to protect them, right. We’re here to work with them and if they will trust us then we can make things come together, make things happen, and I think that’s how we reduce crime in our city.
We’re told crime is down overall by 12 % in the city.
So far in 2019, there have been eight homicides compared to 16 this same time last year.