NEWPORT NEWS, Va.(WAVY) — A former deputy police chief from Richmond was sworn-in Thursday as the new chief of Newport News police.

Steve Drew will officially start as Newport News’ chief July 2, after serving as Richmond’s deputy chief for over three years.

NOTE: A live feed of Steve Drew’s swearing-in ceremony as Newport News police chief, scheduled to start at 10:30 a.m.(App users tune in here).

So far officers have investigated 13 homicides so far this year. Three people died in just the last two weeks. When Drew talked about taking the new job in May he said he wanted to focus on community policing.

“When we have a traumatic event in the neighborhood we’re going to walk that neighborhood, I’ll ask faith leaders and business owners to walk with us,” said Drew. “Sometimes citizens will talk more with someone that they are familiar with. Pastors that they may have a connection with. What are the issues? What are the concerns? I’ve got to get them to open up. At bare minimum, at the end of the day. We’re putting our hand in a citizens hand. We’re knocking on doors. We’re giving them a card and a number and we are letting them know we care about them. When we do that, you’re really opening the door. Good things can happen.”

He says they will do a 30-day assessment to see what would work best for the police department and the streets of Newport News. 

“This police department cares about their concerns and issues we’re not just responding to a call, doing a report and filing it away. We are there to improve the quality of life of those citizens. Improve their neighborhoods. But they have to help us. I think that is sometimes the challenge people sometimes are afraid to come forward,” said Drew.

Drew will have an annual salary of $177,000.

Former chief Richard Myers retired after 40 years of police service.