NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been a deadly week on the Peninsula.
Since Saturday, a shooting has taken place nearly every day.
Newport News police say spikes in crime like this happen during different times in the year, but it still affects the community in the same way.
“It’s disturbing. It’s sad and no family deserves to go through that much grieving to losing their child to gun violence,” said MPO Brandon Maynard with the Newport News Police Department.
According to police, there have been five shootings in Newport News from November 1 to November 15. Five people were killed in these shootings. Two teens under the age of 19, were shot. One of them died.
Maynard says the police department has a number of initiatives and programs in place, like neighborhood watch groups and a newly created task force targeting violent crimes to try to prevent violence.
“We’re out there. We’re visible. Our units, we’re walking the beat. We’re doing everything we need and more,” Maynard said.
But it’s not enough for only officers to be involved. They’re asking for the community to pitch in.
“We’re asking the citizens, if you see something, say something and if you don’t want your name out there, call the Crime Line,” he said.
10 On Your Side spoke with Newport News Mayor McKinley Price over the phone. He told us he’s hoping the violence is an abnormality, but the city is aware of the problem and working to fix it.
Mayor McKinley Price says Newport News spends $1.2 million towards youth and gang prevention. The city also works with the school district and is collaborating with Riverside Hospital, which treats many of the gunshot victims.
Price says the city reactivated it’s curfew last summer and is actively enforcing it. He also says they’re working with Hampton to help curb the problem.
“It’s something that’s a concern or should be a concern for every resident,” said Synethia White, the Youth Violence Prevention Coordinator for the City of Hampton.
White says the two cities meet monthly.
The Youth Violence Prevention Program is geared at helping stop the problem before it happens by mentoring teens, giving them summer employment, and providing support.
“Investing in people now helps them become productive citizens that hopefully stay on the peninsula and help others,” White said.
While both cities are using a number of resources and tools to fight the problem, the most important part of it all is everyone working together.
“We want to take back the community and make it a safer place to work, live, and play,” Maynard said.