NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The city of Norfolk and police hosted the 5th Annual ‘Shoot Hoops Not Guns.’
Shoot Hoops Not Guns is a program the Norfolk Police Department puts on to build bonds with the community, and raise awareness about gun violence.
“One of the things I’ve been passionate about since I’ve been chief is guns.” Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone said. “Particularly guns in the hands of our youth. We as a society have to do something about that.”
The tournament has teams of five players competing with police officers as coaches. Chief Boone said the tournament is about learning more than just basketball skills.
“How to deal with conflict resolution. You know sometimes basketball can be a physical sport and sometimes particularly in our communities you can touch someone the wrong way or you can be a bit too physical, he said. “That can lead into someone being shot.”
The event comes just days after police arrested a 14-year-old for a double shooting on Cary Avenue.
“We need to have real discussion in how some of our youth get their hands on some of these handguns because that’s a problem and if we don’t have real discussions its only going to get worse.” Chief Boone said.
Chief Boone said the program won’t fix the problem but it’s a place to start.
“You know we recognize one program may not fix the problem,” he said. “Multiple programs may not fix the problem but here in the city we recognize and we are experiencing a reduction in crime a lot of that has to do with our citizens trusting us more, they’ve given us information when they probably would have been reluctant to do so in the past.”