PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Hampton Roads NAACP leaders met Thursday with local police chiefs and city managers to address a recent uptick in gun violence in the region.

The meeting was held virtually on Thursday at 6 p.m. and led by Virginia State Conference NAACP Regional Vice President and Hampton Branch NAACP President Gaylene Kanoyton.

The meeting was not open to the public, however 10 On Your Side attended virtually.

According to an NAACP news release, the joint meeting was a response to “growing community concerns on the rise of gun violence across the region.” The NAACP said leaders from Hampton, Newport News, Yorktown, Norfolk. Isle of Wight, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Suffolk were scheduled to be in attendance.

According to a news release sent Thursday night from the NAACP, the group made several recommendations to city leaders, including:

  • Localities should allocate funding from the American Rescue Plan dollars on gun violence reduction
  • Municipal grants should be offered for grassroots, neighborhood-based organizations that are doing
    gun violence prevention and reduction work in communities. Localities should remove institutional barriers or secure fiscal sponsorships to ensure that administrative red tape does not prevent grassroots groups from accessing these resources to continue their
  • Localities should allocate funding and access for community-based mentorship programs.
  • Localities should allocate funding for mental health community-based supports with credible messengers
    and outreach workers.
  • Expanded efforts should be made to recruit and train Black and other minorities to become law
    enforcement officers in their respective communities.
  • Emphasis
  • should be placed on community-based cultural sensitivity training for local law enforcement
  • officers.

Here’s a full list of who attended:

  • Hampton Branch – Gaylene Kanoyton
  • Isle of Wight Branch – Valerie Butler
  • York, James City, Williamsburg Branch – Lawrence Gholson
  • Norfolk Branch – Stacie Armstead
  • Newport News Branch – Willard Maxwell
  • Northampton Branch – Jane Cabarrus
  • Portsmouth Branch – James Boyd
  • Virginia Beach Branch – Dr. Karen Hills Pruden
  • Chesapeake Branch – Helena Dobson

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