Norfolk police speak about gun violence and outreach at community meeting

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Shontae Williams knows the pain of gun violence all too well.

She lost her two sons, ages 18 and 19 to shootings in different cities within 33 days of each other

“It’s important to speak about gun violence and how it affects families because it really breaks the households,” she said.

Wednesday night, Norfolk Police held a community meeting called Just The Facts, where the public could learn about crime stats, community outreach, and how police are working to build relationships in the community.

Williams now comes to meetings like the one held Wednesday night, hoping her pain will ease and her story can save another life.

“The children that’s holding these guns they don’t realize what a family is going through,” Williams said.

Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone spoke about violent crimes Wednesday and says in Norfolk it’s on the decline.

10 On Your Side met up with him earlier this month where we learned violent crime in the city is down 18 percent from one year ago.

The chief says they’ve accomplished this by putting officers in areas where they say crime is known to happen.

“By surgically focusing on those crime drivers and areas we know crime exists we’ve been able, for a lack of a better term, to do outrageous stuff,” said Boone.

They’re also working on getting out in the community more, and connecting with youth on a personal level, by developing programs that create bonds with officers, kids and teens.

But the chief says just because crime is down, doesn’t mean they’ll stop what they’re doing.

“You look at our data and we’re on the right track, I’m not saying that we have won but we’re going in the right direction,” said Chief Boone.

He says hes passionate about the issue of guns in the hands of our youth here in this area and that’s something he wants to continue to work on.

There will be another meeting Thursday at 830 Goff Street at the Huntersville Community Center starting at 6:30 p.m.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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