VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Employees of Oceanfront businesses tell WAVY.com they have received letters from Virginia Beach Police about the upcoming Spring Break and summer season.
Multiple Oceanfront employees shared the letter with WAVY.com, which invites community members to a meeting with police “for a discussion related to our Spring Break planning and soon to follow summer season.”
The letter states police are looking for information that may be helpful to the weekend of April 25 through April 27, which is around the same time as last year’s violent college beach weekend.
Rick Kowalewitch was in the middle of it all last year. His business, RK’s Surf Shop, is located at 16th Street and Pacific Avenue.
“At one point we’re in the back here, and there’s probably a thousand people that came running through the parking lot because shots were being fired on Atlantic Avenue,” said Kowalewitch.
Kowalewitch said the letter from the police department’s Commanding Officer, Captain Sean Adams, was in his surf shop’s door on Saturday morning.
WAVY.com asked Kowalewitch what he plans on sharing when he attends the meeting. He said he has a message for police: “You’ve got to prepare for the worst.”
Virginia Beach Police told us there were 325 calls for service the night of April 27, 2013 and going into Sunday morning. Later, the department said they couldn’t predict the crimes that ended up happening. Police Chief Jim Cervera told WAVY.com at the time the department was going to make changes for 2014.
Police spokesman Officer Lonnie Cain said one of the reasons for the upcoming meetings is that Captain Adam is a new commanding officer over the second precinct. He wants to have open communication and a safer environment for everyone.
As far as the future of another beach weekend event in Virginia Beach, Cain said the department can’t say with certainty that it will happen. But, if thousands do return to the Oceanfront, and there’s crime, police will be even more prepared.
Officials said there were 30-40,000 people at the Oceanfront that weekend. Police said there were multiple shootings, two stabbings, and three robberies at the Oceanfront. More than 80 police officers were also on hand to keep watch.
Two meetings are scheduled for Oceanfront businesses:
- Thursday, Febr 20, 2014 at 11 a.m. The meeting will be held at the second precinct, located at 820 Virginia Beach Boulevard.
- Thursday, February 27, 2014 at 2 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.