VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — With College Beach Weekend just a few weeks out, law enforcement, and city leaders held a community forum at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.
They were there to address issues residents had about the 40,000 college students that will be making their way down to the Oceanfront.
Traffic messes and rowdiness were top of mind for many residents.
In previous years there have been fights, stabbings and shootings.
But police made it clear that they’ve been training since last year for this year, and will have a no- tolerance policy.
Neighbor Beatriz Amberman was one of many residents who came to learn more about what police were doing.
“They’re welcome here, but we also are a community that lives in this city and we have expectations that we want them to respect our city,” said Amberman.
Amberman and other neighbors who showed up were split up into small groups so they could talk about their concerns with officers directly.
“I’m very happy that the City of Virginia Beach is pulling the community from diverse sectors to join and give ideas but also have a good atmosphere for the visitors,” said Amberman.
Officers took down ideas from residents, and also talked about the need for more observers. Observers are volunteers who can help keep an eye on things to help out officers.
“This is from the Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission, we’re actually looking for people who want to sign up to be an observer,” said Brother Kenick El.
El says he’s never been to College Beach Weekend before, but will be coming down this year to be an observer and help keep the community safe in any way he can.
Couldn’t make it out to this forum? Don’t worry, another one is scheduled for April 18 at the convention center.
College Beach Weekend is scheduled to begin April 27.