NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – The Southeast community of Newport News could get a new police precinct, if the city purchases a $7 million building it originally planned to lease.
Already, new walkways, street markings and street lights are up along Jefferson Avenue between 28th Street and 35th Street. It’s part of the Brooks Crossing office-retail development. David Hornsby at Hornsby Tire off Jefferson Ave. has taken note.
“Its helped us out tremendously,” he said. “The customers really enjoy it. When they come down here they like the way it looks. They can see the improvements,” he said.
The city plans to purchase a police precinct on the property between 33rd and 34th streets, which is right across the street from Hornsby tire.
“I think its good, anything is positive for down here,” Hornsby said. “We’ve been looking for this a long time. I think anything that happens in this area is definitely a plus.”
A city spokesperson told WAVY.com an upgrade in the city’s bond rating will make the purchase possible. But not everyone in Newport News is confident the new precinct alone will help with violence in the area.
“No I don’t. I don’t feel like a precinct will help,” said Terrell Clark, a Newport News native who doesn’t think a new precinct will deter crime.
“If we don’t change our environment, it’s not going to change,” he said. “What you put here is not going to make a difference, if we don’t promote a change in consciousness. A police department here, we need it in here. We need to police each other, and it will probably be a benefit.”
The Brooks Crossing project is set for completion next year. City Council is set to vote on the purchase in October.