Norfolk police report significant drop in crime

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Norfolk police are reporting a significant drop in overall crime, violent crime and shootings in recent years.

The department tweeted a graph showing a 21 percent reduction in overall crimes reported from 2014 through 2018. 

Chief L. D. Boone says shootings in the city are down twice that much, or about 42 percent.

“That’s huge, because the barometer of any city is the number of shootings in terms of how safe it is.”

Boone says what drives crime in Norfolk now is pretty much the same as it was when he joined the department 30 years ago. Social ills, economic problems and gang activity.

Boone says the reduction in crime is not the result of an influx of officers on Norfolk streets. In fact he says the force is about the same size as it was five years ago. What has changed — how the department communicates internally.

“We’re trying to get different units to work together as a team.  We were doing that in the past but we’re doing it a lot better now.”

The department says trust and cooperation from the surrounding community has helped cut the crime rate.

“Just this morning I got a text from a couple pastors regarding certain things. I’ll go out here and meet with gang members. Some of them have been very instrumental in reducing our gang violence,” Boone said.

The increased cooperation has helped Norfolk reduce its violent crime rate 30 percent, but Boone says he’s not satisfied.

“Now I’m not spiking the ball yet,” says the former linebacker at Georgia Southern. “We still have a lot of work to do.”

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